Armed police on Thursday fired tear gas to disperse Kasungu Teachers Training College students, who camped at the district education manager’s (DEM) office.
The student teachers protested over allowance arrears, poor learning conditions and diet.
According to a representative of the students’ council, Blessings Njoka, they are yet to get their monthly allowances that span three months. They are mandated to get K1 500 as monthly upkeep allowance.
In a telephone interview, Njoka said: “We are yet to get money from government since we reported for school this semester. The diet is poor and some of the hostels are just inhabitable; they have bed bugs and some don’t have electricity. How do authorities expect us to live with such a pathetic situation?”
College principal a Mr Chibwe could not be reached on his mobile, as he was reportedly on duty in Karonga.
Acting DEM Evelyn Mchima received the students’ petition on behalf of the ministry.
However, what started as a peaceful march towards the DEM offices turned ugly as the student teachers demanded immediate solutions after presenting the petition. Kasungu Police publicist Burton Mathewe confirmed they had to deploy police to disperse the student teachers.
“Yes, the police used tear gas. There were no casualties,” he said.
This is the second time in 12 months that Kasungu TTC students have demonstrated over unpaid allowances.