Students at Soche Technical College in Blantyre Thursday went on strike calling for the resignation of some senior staff members over what the students described as failure to address students’ challenges.
When The Daily Times visited the college on Thursday morning, the students had blocked the main entrance to the college with stones and trees branches.
Others carried placards captioning their frustrations and demands. Outside the college administration offices, huge flames of fire and clouds of smoke from old burning tires rose tall as authorities asked for calm.
Representative of the students, Lovemore Josiah, said the students were tired of being treated like prisoners at the college.
“Our funds are not given on time. The food we receive is poorly prepared. We are living like prisoners here,” lamented Josiah.
The students were also claiming refund of examination fees that they paid for but the examination was never administered.
“The exam in which we were asked to pay K25, 000 kwacha each was not written. The one we wrote cost K5, 000. We asked for a refund of the remainder, but these people kept going in circles,” claimed one student.
The school authorities refused to give their side of the story saying that they needed authorisations from the Ministry of Education headquarters.
However, in an effort to calm the situation, the college authorities called for an emergency meeting with the students.
During the meet, it was revealed that the delay in refunding the student’s money was caused by the student’s failure to produce receipts, which was a condition the college gave. Most of the students claimed that they had lost or misplaced the receipt.
The college authorities had to contact officials at the Ministry to allow them give back the money without demanding the original receipts but using some duplicates of the same, which the college has in its keep.
The college authorities told the students that they were aware of the students’ concerns and assured them that they would be solved before the close of office on Thursday.
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