Students the Polytechnic are set to start indefinitely boycotting classes on Monday, 6th May in protest against low upkeep allowances.

The boycott comes as a response to President Joyce Banda’s refusal to increase the monthly allowances from the current K40 000 to K60 000, a move that has sparked discontent among government-sponsored students in the University of Malawi.

A member of the Polytechnic Students Union (PSU) said they had unanimously resolved to start a class boycott so as to register their commitment to the cause and force government to come to their rescue.

“We had an assembly in which all students agreed to a class boycott as the best and only way forward, and it is commencing this Monday. It will be indefinite. We will not stop until government takes our issue into serious consideration,” he said.

He further said they had officially met the administration and the academic staff to explain their stand and the reasons so that there should be no misunderstandings within the course of the boycott.

According to him, the administration and academic staff had all justified the students’ position.

“We formally called them to explain why we are doing this and they sympathized with our situation looking at the exorbitant food and accommodation prices against the little monthly allowances that we get,” he explained.

Earlier, the UNIMA Council told students through their representatives that they had agreed to a 50% increment and that they were just waiting for the State President who was then abroad to endorse with her signature.

However, they later made a bold U-turn dismissing all agreements.

Meanwhile, a General Assembly has been called for today Monday 6th May at 9:30 where Chanco shall also decide on the way forward on the issue.

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