August 5, 2016 by Staff Reporter
The Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in the country who organized peaceful demonstrations against fees hike in the public universities on Thursday have expressed worry over the Mk50, 000 fees adjustment.
CSOs voiced the concern few hours after Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika and students of Public Universities agreed to have fees for generic students reduced from K400,000 to K350,000 while fees for mature students of College Medicine is now pegged at M K1 million; Kamuzu College of Nursing MK700,000. At Polytechnic and Chancellor College they will be paying MK600, 000.
Acting Executive Director for Youth with Vision (YWF) one of the CSOs which organized national-wide Anti fees hike demonstration, Negracious Justin said that the reduction is a mockery to the needy students.
“On our part, as civil society, the negotiated cross-cutting MK50, 000 reductions is not satisfactory. It has not substantially addressed the grievances which we had raised flag for….” Said Negracious Justin.
Addressing UNIMA student’s union leaders at Kamuzu Palace in the capital Lilongwe president Mutharika said that that the cost of higher education is not cheap.
“All of us will be proud to take our education standards high to international levels. There is always a cost for high education standards wherever you go in the world. On the other, we need to attend to our local situations, including the income levels for most Malawians,” said Mutharika.
He further that,” Our problem in education goes beyond money It is important to realize this point, b-because we need to avoid looking at the problem in a narrow perspective.”
President Mutharika also saluted UNIMA student’s representatives for giving dialogue a chance.
“Dialogue is the right thing to do. I do not believe that breaking other people’s cars and burning your own hostels will bring you any solution. But am still proud of you as University Students. You are this nation’s forthcoming intellectuals, decision makers and solution finders,” said Mutharika.
He added that, “I know that there are some students who genuinely want dialogue for us to find a balanced solution. But I also know that there are some who want to¬ use fees as an excuse for their own politics.”
According to president Mutharika, the cost of training one student in our public universities is at MK2.5 million per year, and the maximum is MK5.5 million.