University of Malawi (UNIMA) student leaders on Thursday stormed the National Assembly in the capital Lilongwe to deliver a petition asking the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) government to consider hiking the allocation to Higher Education Students Loan Board to meet all needy students.

In the 2015/16 budget government allocated MK1.5 billion National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) which is not enough according to the students.

Delivering the petition to Parliament through Ministry of Education, the students asked the government to act on their petition within a period of 14 days failing which the whole student body at public universities would demonstrate.

Reading the petition before handing it to deputy chairperson of the Education Committee who received the petition on behalf of Parliament, Agnes Nyalonje, David Jiva said the number of beneficially is very small hence there is need for the government to increase the allocation.

Jiva said the shortlisted number of beneficiaries published by NCHE recently has left out a number of need students.

“The core purpose of establishing the Students Loans and Grants Board was to help needy students as such government should increase its budget allocation,” reads in part the petition.

The students also demanded that the government should consider consulting them and involve the leadership to allow the board understand some of the in-depth issues of the students.

The petition was jointly student union leaders from University of Malawi constituent colleges, Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar), Mzuzu University and Malawi University of Science and Technology (Must).

Meanwhile Nyalonje promised to deliver the petition to the Speaker in time.

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