University of Malawi students demonstrate over suspension of classes

Chancellor College Great Hall

Students at University of Malawi are demonstrating in Zomba over the continued suspension of online classes.

The university last week extended the suspension of classes due to lack of internet gadgets. Online classes were expected to resume on today at the college but the suspension was extended to 2nd August.

This has angered students who argue that the continued suspension of classes is costly since they are spending money on meals and rentals but are not learning. The students want management to close the school or resolve the internet challenges.

During the demonstrations, students closed the Saint Charles Lwangwa-Chanco road, forcing police to fire teargas to close the school.

The college has been conducting online classes as one of the Covid-19 prevention measures. Students have been using a facility called Eduroam WIFI for the online classes.

On July 13, students also held demonstrations arguing that the WIFI did not have wide coverage. This led to the initial suspension of the online classes.

UNIMA Registrar Mary Wasiri said last week that the university is facing logistical challenges in the procurement of the internet gadgets which are being imported from China.

She added that the supplier confirmed that the gadgets will arrive in the country soon hence the extension.

“While we are waiting for the arrival of the switchers and routers, management will continue to work on modalities of mitigating other associated challenges towards continued learning and teaching.

“ICT and E-learning Directorates will continue to offer tutorials on use of various e-platforms. Students are requested to continue engaging in self-study on academic material that they are already have,” she explained.



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