Soche Technical students protest
By Emmanuel Chirwa:
Students from Soche Technical College, under Teveta, in Blantyre Friday held demonstrations demanding government and the authority to re-introduce Trade Test Examining Board, release 2017 examinations results and upgrade the qualification they earn after four years of study from certificate to either diploma or degree.
President of the students’ association at the college Blessings Kamwana said government is just satisfied that Technical Education, Vocational and Entrepreneurship Training Authority (Teveta) is sponsoring students but they are not supervising how it is done including the welfare of the students.
Kamwana said there are a lot of anomalies that need to be addressed.
“We want government to re-introduce Trade Test Examining Board as they said this is the last year they will administer the examinations. They say they have established another board but it is unknown. They are collecting money for examination fees while the board is not there. This, we are not amused at,” he said.
The students also demand that school authorities should release examination results they sat for in 2017, be paid back apprenticeship allowance balances.
“Our colleagues from the University of Malawi and other colleges spend four years and earn a diploma or degree, but we are awarded certificates, we want the qualification to be upgraded. Moreover, during apprenticeship, we were given K9,000 instead of K20,000 per month, we want the balances paid,” he said.
Teveta Public Relations Officer Lewis Msasa yesterday said they already addressed the students on their efforts to deal with the issues.
He said the problem is that students have formed various factions and each demands an interface with Teveta.
“The problems are many and they cannot be dealt with during a very short period of time but the students are lacking patience. They have formed various factions and unions and each demands a meeting, in that way, it’s hard to give ear to whom. But we told them of procedures to follow when lodging complaints,” he said.
However, the march to the district commissioner’s office by the students was halted and dismissed by Police Mobile Force at Kristwick as the marchers were about to enter Blantyre Central Business District.
The police dispersed the marchers saying they did not follow the right procedures.
Kamwana said they followed all the right procedures but Limbe Police Station denied them escort, saying the nation is heading towards May 21 Tripartite Elections and the march may deemed political.
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