Students from Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi (UNIMA) are demanding for the immediate resignation of the College Prof. Grant Kululanga and Registrar Mrs. Chilinde Principal over what they call “display of outright incompetence, gross failure in management of the college and no display of decisive leadership required of their respective positions.”

In the statement made available to faceofmalawi, the students have threatened to hold massive demonstrations if the two do not resign in the next five days.

The students have cited failure by the two to allow Polytechnic Students complete end of year examinations in the week starting 30th March 2020, before the first Covid-19 case in Malawi and also failure by the two to release results examination which the students wrote.

Below is the statement;

A CALL FOR THE IMMEDIATE RESIGNATION OF THE PRINCIPAL AND REGISTRAR OF
THE MALAWI POLYTECHNIC

The student body of the Polytechnic a constituent college of the University of Malawi demands the immediate resignation of both the Principal Prof. Grant Kululanga and Registrar Mrs. Chilinde for display of outright incompetence, gross failure in management of the college and no display of decisive leadership required of their respective positions. While the student body recognizes the challenges in navigating these difficult times brought by the pandemic, we wish to fault the aforementioned parties by furnishing the Chancellor, Minister of Education, University Council and General public with the following facts.

1. That contrary to the former State Presidents directive to exclusively allow Polytechnic Students complete end of year examinations in the week starting 30th March 2020, before the first Covid-19 case in Malawi, Mrs. Chilinde forcedly closed the school indefinitely without taking into account costs and scientific facts on the ground.

2. Since the closure the college on 27th March 2020 both these individuals adamantly refused to find alternative methods of processing results for all year 2,3,4 and 5 students that had already completed exams by 27th March consequently punishing over 4000 students especially final years who needed the results to start seeking employment opportunities.

3. Both these individuals only developed an alternative plan for the processing of exam results in August 2020, 4 months after the closure of the college and only because of pressure from final year students.

4. That the registrar with permission from the principle opted to stop grades of students with outstanding balances from being assessed by senate instead of allowing the grades be processed and barring the students access to the grades through the student management information system.

5. That even after Loans board committed to paying the outstanding balances on behalf of the students, the registrar again did not allow for the senate to process these grades until loans board formally meets this commitment and therefore requiring a 3rd senate meeting and pushing the opening date of the college to 4th January 2021, 9 months after closure.

6. That we have it on account that both these parties are pushing for students to hold a ‘Virtual Graduation’ in order to find opportunity to embezzle funds that would have otherwise been used for a ‘physical graduation’. We implore government to thorougly investigate this matter.To this end, we make the following demands

1. That both Prof Kululanga and Mrs. Chilinde be relieved of their duties or resign within 4 days from today. Any delay or Failure to meet this demand will result in unending peaceful student protests.

2. That results of students with outstanding balances be processed by senate with immediate effect and withheld through the student management system until loans board fulfills its commitment.

3. Considering that the pandemic is still at large, a ‘physical graduation’ accommodating all pending graduands be held within 4 weeks at Bingu national stadium (or any outdoor venue) to allow for all covid-19 preventative measures be adhered to.

4. The opening date for Polytechnic remains 16th November 2020 and not 4th Jan 2021

In conclusion, our view is that both these individuals can no longer be entrusted with the management of the College on behalf of the Government and the responsibility of steering the students into the futures they strive for even on behalf of their families. We find it absurd that an institution of higher learning whose core function is to educate students remains closed for 9 months while management and lecturers receive full salary and benefits even while not performing the key element of their Jobs. It is our prayer that the nation finally realizes that these colleges do not have prolonged holidays or indefinite closures because of student mischiefand demonstrations but because of managements reluctancy to make decisive decisions fully knowing that even if an institution is closed for a whole year, they stand nothing to lose. It is high time mediocrity is called out for what it is in order to protect our beloved nation from individuals who are protected by political gurus of the former administration.Stu

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