Lilongwe University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (Luanar) vice-chancellor George Kanyama Phiri says the opening of a new teaching complex at Bunda Campus is a huge motivation for teaching staff and students.
Speaking on Wednesday when the Norwegian Ambassador handed over the K3.4 billion complex to Minister of Education, Science and Technology William Susuwele Banda, Phiri said it will resolve space challenges at the campus.
He said: “We had huge space challenges here such that for a long time, some lectures were taking place in makeshift tents and this did not offer any motivation to the lecturers not mentioning the students.”
Towards the end of 2018, a group of students demonstrated against the use of makeshift tents, arguing they were not weather-friendly but management assured them that a new teaching complex would soon open.
The building, which has been named Norway Teaching Complex, comprises three classrooms each with a capacity of 70 students, four lecture theatres each with a capacity of 105 students, a big laboratory with a capacity of 138 and two small ones with a capacity of 68 students each.
It also has a computer room, staff/faculty offices, post graduate rooms and amenities such as kitchen for staff.
Luanar Council chairperson James Seyani has warned through a statement that the council will deal with any person who will deliberately vandalise any college infrastructure or property.
In his remarks, Susuwele Banda echoed the board chairperson’s remarks, saying the ministry has taken a new approach whereby anyone caught vandalising college property will be withdrawn and penalties will be imposed where necessary.
“The point is, when there is a misunderstanding, it is between management and students so it should not affect public infrastructure,” he said, adding the warning extends to all public universities.
On his part, Norwegian Ambassador Steinar Egil Hagen said his government will continue supporting any good projects the college may present to foster a strong research institution in the agriculture sector.
The Norwegian Government has been supporting Malawi in various sectors such as health, agriculture, education, food security and good governance.