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80 College of Medicine students fear for future

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By Mike Mataka:

Eighty College of Medicine (Com) students risk missing out from the list of those whose examinations’ results will be approved this year if they fail to raise K11.5 million for fees.

CoM Students Union President King Chiwanga confirmed the development Monday, saying there were some 80 students who had nowhere to turn to for fees.

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“About K11.5 million is needed for College of Medicine management to approve end-of-year results for over 80 needy students. The sad part is that, if the needy students fail to settle their fees balances, their examinations’ results will be withheld until next academic year.

“The affected students got communication from management that, as the College Senate will be meeting on January 5 [today], only results for students with no fees balances will be confirmed. This has brought panic among many students, who face a bleak future because they cannot raise fees,” Chiwanga said.

He said the students’ union had engaged an extra-gear to bail out the students, further appealing to well-wishers to come to their [students’] rescue.

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“We, as leaders of the students union, are saddened by the development. We are, therefore, searching for well-wishers and asking government officials to do something about the affected students,” he said.

Meanwhile, quality education advocate Jack Msiska has said there is a need for stakeholders to embrace the idea that education is a right, and not privilege.

“It’s the responsibility of the government to ensure that poor and marginalised students enjoy access to quality services, just like their resource-rich counterparts, in the education sector.

The playing-field has to be levelled,” Msiska said.

Msiska also asked the Central Government to, as it implements reforms, review funding modalities for needy students.

Recently, results of some students from The Polytechnic— which, like CoM, is a University of Malawi constituent college—were withheld until next academic year for non-payment of fees.

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