Authorities at Machinga Teachers Training College (TTC) on Friday closed the college indefinitely following disagreements over unpaid teaching allowances for the student teachers.
On Monday last week, the students took to task the college’s officials, demanding two months’ arrears or risk demonstrations.
And on Thursday, the school’s management suspended 18 students deemed as ring leaders, a situation that did not please their counterparts who marched to the District Education Manager (Dem)’s office, demanding that their fellow students should be reinstated.
The students also asked the Dem’s office to intervene and ensure that the college releases the allowances.
One of the students, Isaac Phiri, said the delay in payment of their allowances was affecting their studies as the majority of them are yet to settle their school fees’ balances.
“There is lack of seriousness in resolving our grievances. The suspension of our colleagues is aimed at silencing us to stop asking for our money. You do not punish someone just because he is claiming his money,” Phiri said.
Principal of the college, Edith Sipanala, claimed that the suspended students were caught drunk, which is against the school’s rules.
“These students were sent home because they broke the school rules which do not allow students to take alcohol within the campus,” Sipanala said.
In her remarks, Ministry of Education publicist, Lindiwe Chide, said the students at the college were being owed allowances for a month only totalling to K9.3 million.
“The college has processed the arrears and is waiting for funds to pay the students. We have temporality closed the college for security reasons until money is paid because the student showed that they were impatient by demonstrating,” she said.