Unima students protest against five-month holiday

Chancellor College Great Hall

University of Malawi (Unima) students have demanded the university to amend an academic calendar which include a 5-month holiday.

The students, in a letter by Students Representative Council (SRC) and addressed to the Registrar, say the new academic calendar has been created with no regard to the welfare of students whose studies have already been delayed by issues such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The students’ community is especially discontented with the fact that continuing students and the upcoming First years will have to stay home for another 5 months after the closure of the designated first semester which runs from August to December.

“With all due respect, we consider this draft of the academic calendar a symbol of an unfortunate and vision lacking management, with no regards to the welfare of the students who have already been undeservedly delayed by force majeure circumstances which includes but are not limited to covid-19 breaks and the coming in of 2021-2022 first year students.

“The SRC and, of course, all continuing students at the University of Malawi are
traumatised that the university has systematically decided to take away a full year of study from them and ignored a workable double cohort just to accommodate the 2021/22 first years.

“The students’ leadership wonders as to how and why does the management, with
competent and prominent administrators, decided to disproportionately delay already
delayed cohorts of students in an illogical manner that no any university in this country
and probably in the world has ever or would reasonably ever endeavour to practice,” reads part of the letter signed by SRC president Charles Dokera and Secretary General Chawezi Phiri.

The students have since told the Registrar to withdraw the academic calendar and involve the SRC in the amendment so that the interests of the students are also taken into consideration.