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Raising of fees for university students is unacceptable-Nankhumwa

NANKHUMWA: government must do something as a matter of urgency

Malawi’s Leader of Opposition Dr Kondwani Nankhumwa has said raising of school fees for students in the public universities is unjustifiable and unacceptable.

Nankhumwa was speaking in Parliament today after raising a motion for members to debate on the recent announcement by government to raise school fees by almost 100%.

“I would like to appeal to the government to intervene on this development because it is becoming too much for parents and guardians to raise tuition fees for their wards in an economy gone south. The government must do something as a matter of urgency.

“Already, we have a situation where over 2,000 students are tittering on the verge of dropping out from the University system because they are struggling to raise high university tuition,” said Nankhumwa.

He said the economy is currently a mixture of toxic cocktail. Inflation is high, currently hovering at 29 percent. Malawians are struggling just to raise money for food. A bag of maize is currently at MK40,000, and not affordable by a majority of families. Prices of basic commodities such as soap, sugar, cooking oil and salt have skyrocketed

“As I am talking, there are long queues at filling stations across the country due to the lack of fuel, as a result of forex scarcity. Although the government is not saying it, our economy has practically tanked. On top of this, Malawi just experienced one of the worst cyclones in its history, Cyclone Freddy, which devastated many parts of the Southern Region and the worst drought in some areas in the Northern Region like in Karonga

“It is, therefore, hugely inconsiderate for this government to allow public universities to raise tuition fees in such economic context,” said Nankhumwa who is also DPP Vice President for the South.

Nankhumwa further said that
Malawians are not alone. They have a government and should not feel like they have just been dumped to fend for themselves when they have a government, which claims to have their welfare at the top of its agenda.

Government has announced that fees for LUANAR undergraduate has been raised from K350,000 to K600,000 and up K1 million for mature entrants.