Poly lecturers agree to resume teaching on conditions of ‘academic safety’

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Lecturers at Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi have agreed to resume teaching next Monday after being assured of safety when carrying out duties.

The lecturers staged a sit-in for fear of their lives after irate student, who have been boycotting classes on unresolved allowance issues, stormed lecturer rooms and start harassing the academic dons  forcing them to stop teaching.

The students want the government to raise their upkeep allowance at K40, 000 per month to keep pace with the high cost of living which Malawians are experiencing largely because of the devaluation and floatation of Malawi Kwacha

General Secretary for the college’s staff Union Gift Khangamwa told a local radio on Saturday that the issue of resuming teaching was reached during the meeting with management where they have been assured of their security while teaching.

Among the conditions, Khangamwa said, is that there should not be another recurrence of harassment or disturbances in the classroom.

“We understand that students are allowed to demonstrate by law but not within the classroom because these are places where learning should be taking place” he says.

President Joyce Banda who is also the chancellor of University of Malawi (Unima) recently pledged to resolve students’ grievances on upkeep allowances and other concerns. She has since set-up a special committee to look into the matter.

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