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No date for Health Sciences’ re-opening

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Students at the Malawi College of Health Sciences (MCHS) will have to wait a little longer following the closure of the campuses earlier this month due to a sit in by employees of the college who are demanding salary increment.

Speaking in a telephone interview yesterday, Comptroller of Statutory Corporations, Zanga zanga Chikhosi, said all he knows is that the schools management engaged government on the issue and discussions are underway.

“My impression is that there is a discussion going on with government that is what I know. The management and the college’s board engaged government and I think discussions are going on perfectly well,” he said.

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He, however, could not state as to when the schools are expected to re-open saying ears should be on what the discussions will yield.

The Daily Times visit to the MCHS’ Blantyre Campus, found no student at the premises.

The strike by the MCHS support staff led to the indefinite closure of all the three campuses of the college of Lilongwe, Zomba and Blantyre on October 2, 2016.

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Director of Civil Society Education Coalition (Csec), Benedicto Kondowe, slammed government for not providing its institutions with adequate resources.

“There are several implications attached to closure of schools, a remedy that is widely used when disagreements arise. This prolongs time of stay at school for students, which on its own has a cost. Secondly, parents have to expand their budgets for the students who would have been at school. Students are affected psychologically and government also loses out a lot as it pays for lectures who are actually not working,” Kondowe said.

He added that the current scenario shows that both government and management are not concerned with the issue.

“Both the government and the college management have to get up from their slumber and address the issue with haste. They must put the issue of students at heart,” he said

The employees are demanding a 60 percent salary increment claiming that they are 80 percent behind as compared to salaries of their counterparts of grade C in statutory corporations.

They further claim that they initially proposed that the increment be done in phases which never materialised.

An internal memo that was at the college’s Blantyre Campus notice board issued on September 30, 2016 indicated that re-opening date is October 18, 2016 unless otherwise advised.

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