Some students at Mzuzu University (Mzuni) are using their knees as desks when taking end-of-semester examinations due to lack of furniture at the college.
Mzuni officials have confirmed the development, which they blame on lack of sufficient funding and non-payment of fees by some students.
Mzuni acting senior assistant registrar (academic) James Kwilimbe has also blamed some students for keeping desks in their dormitories.
The Civil Society Education Coalition (CSEC) has since deplored the situation and governmentâ€™s failure to adequately fund tertiary education, a situation which the coalition says is compromising the quality of education in the country.
CSEC chairperson MacBain Mkandawire, in an interview on Monday, appealed to government to make available resources to public universities to ensure quality education.
He said it is unfortunate that the situation at Mzuni has reached such pathetic levels.
Kwilimbe said government is not fully funding the university despite an increase in the collegeâ€™s intake.
Said Kwilimbe: â€œCurrently, we have 2 600 students, a figure which has risen from 1 800 students from previous years. The implication is that we need to provide corresponding extra number of desks.â€
He said previously, Mzuni was borrowing furniture from neighbouring schools during examinations, but that is difficult now because the school calendars are harmonised.
Mzuni studentsâ€™ body vice-president Yamikani Yafeti said the situation is affecting most students.
â€œImagine students using their knees when writing technical subjects, some female students have to kneel down during exams,â€ said Yafeti.