Mzuzu University (Mzuni) students have joined Chancellor College and Polytechnic in pushing government to raise their upkeep allowances by 60 percent, The Nation has learnt.
Mzuni Students representative Council (Musrec) president Abel Phompho said in an interview on Monday the students had no choice, but to join their counterparts as they are equally affected by the high cost of living.
He said the current allowance has a shortfall of K12 000 (about $30) if students are to have their meals daily. He said students have developed negative alternatives to cushion the shortfall.
“The situation is very pathetic and students are suffering. We are given K33 000 (about $82.50) as upkeep, but if you look at the meal prices there is a big gap, which students have to meet. Lunch and supper cost K550 (about $1.38) respectively, breakfast costs K350 (about 87 cents). If you multiply that by 31 days, it, comes to K44 950 (about $112).
“We are not making baseless arguments here. Students cannot afford to meet the remaining money.
“Students [have] to miss some of the meals just to manage with the K33 000. Others go to buy cheap meals in small quantities, which is not healthy. The development is affecting our education and we cannot sit back and watch,” said Phompho.
And the Ministry of Education has called on the students to table the matter to Mzuni Council.
The students are expected to meet management on Wednesday, where they will present the matter so that a Council meeting should be arranged to discuss the matter.
“This is a genuine claim and we believe management and council will help solve the matter. We don’t want to go on the road or disrupt classes as is the case with University of Malawi. However we value the importance of team work.
“As leaders our obligation is to let the students understand that the matter can be solved with a sober mind,” said Phompho.