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Minister blasts universities’ councils

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Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Emmanuel Fabiano, has blamed university councils for failing resolve challenges at their institutions which has resulted in closures in some cases.

Fabiano said if the councils are failing to resolve matters, then they have no justification for their existence.

He made the remarks yesterday in Lilongwe at a handover ceremony of a donation of K100 million by Petroleum Importers Limited (PIL) to Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar).

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He was referring to the current closure of five tertiary education institutions due to various issues which the councils are failing to resolve.

The five higher learning institutions that have been closed are: Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi and Natural Resources over fee hike; Mzuzu University and four Malawi College of Health Sciences campuses due to staff strike over pay increase while Malawi University of Science and Technology was closed as a result of water problems.

Fabiano said university councils were given a responsibility to manage institutions and that comes with resolving issues.

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Fabiano further said the council should only seek the ministry’s intervention when they have failed to resolve the issues other than pressing the ministry over “minor” issues.

“The government has put in place councils and council make policies as well as some administrative decisions and government having given these powers to the councils, we would like them to manage these issues,” he said.

He said the councils will declare themselves redundant if they run to the ministry with every little issue.

“If we say everything that is happening in our higher education institutions should be run by the ministry it is the same us not having the councils. It is according to the laws of this country to have councils responsible for policy and management issues,” he said.

Fabiano further said the government expects the councils to perform.

Education activist, Benedicto Kondowe, has described the recent closure of colleges and universities as a result of poor and selfish leadership in the institutions of higher learning.

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