Angry Malawi College of Accountancy (MCA) students yesterday protested against a National Council for Higher Education (NCHE) announcement that their institution and its degree programmes are not accredited.
NCHE published a notice yesterday that during the 14th Council Meeting held last month, a decision was made not to accredit some higher education institutions, including the renowned MCA, a statutory corporation.
According to NCHE, the public college failed to make the grade after the council “observed with serious concern that the institution does not provide a satisfactory teaching and learning environment”.
Reads the notice about MCA: “The degree programme requires reviewing to ensure comparability with similar programmes nationally and internationally.”
However, the announcement did not go down well with the students who immediately abandoned classes mobilised themselves and gathered on the college grounds at the Blantyre campus located next to The Polytechnic, a constituent college of the University of Malawi (Unima).
Classes were immediately suspended as the students blocked the road leading to the campus with tree branches and stones.
The students threatened to deflate tyres of all college vehicles around before they were stopped by security guards.
Later, an impromptu general assembly was called where the college registrar Yotamu Machila addressed the students on the steps management has taken to improve on the noted shortfalls.
MCA Students’ Union Blantyre Campus general secretary Chawanangwa Mswayo said they felt cheated by the college management; hence, their action.
In an interview, he said: “We have been studying here not knowing the college is not accredited.
For instance I am a fourth year student and I thought I was done only to hear this. It’s demoralising.”
But Mswayo said following the registrar’s explanation, 80 percent of the issues cited by NCHE as reasons for not accrediting the college did not warrant the decision.
Machila declined to comment on the issue, saying he was not mandated to do so whereas college principal Agrippah Phiri was reportedly in Lilongwe and could not be reached on his mobile phone.
The students have since resolved to resume classes while preparing to write management over the matter.
Besides MCA which has existed for decades and has produced most of the chartered accountants in the country, NCHE has also not accredited another age-old institution African Bible College (ABC) in Lilongwe, Exploits University, Skyway University, Blantyre International University (BIU), Columbia Commonwealth University and Africa University of Guidance, Counselling and Youth Development (AUGCYD). n