By Sifiso Nhlabatsi | 2018-02-12
FOLLOWING an impasse between students and the ministry of labour and social security at the Southern African Nazarene University (SANU) over unpaid allowances, students have now resorted to taking to the streets.
They will today hit the road and deliver a petition to the ministry and the Swaziland Higher Education Council (SHEC). The petition comes after a strike which unfolded at the university last Wednesday and has been ongoing since.
SANU Secretary General Tiger Nxumalo yesterday informed students through a memorandum that the class boycott which formally began on Wednesday is still ongoing.
Nxumalo said all students from the three faculties were thus requested to converge at the FOHS lecture theatre today at 08h00 hrs.
The secretary general said numerous buses shall then come to take them to Mbabane to deliver two petitions; one at the ministry of labour and the other at SHEC.
Nxumalo said amongst other issues to be included in the petition would be the delayed year one allowances, withheld ongoing students allowances, unreasonable allowance reduction, lack of project allowances, reduced scholarship intake, evaluation of SANU exorbitant fees and poor infrastructure, evaluation of courses; ECCD & BME.
Worth noting is that it is not only SANU which is engaged in a strike as William Pitcher Teacher’s Training College has been closed indefinitely after a strike over allowances. The students were ordered to vacate the premises and those who were to be found on the premises were informed that they would be charged with trespassing.
Students at the college have since raised their concern that they are losing lecture weeks, saying third years were losing project time and ultimately the whole student body will miss their academic break and study break.
They cited that upon return to the college lecturers will be pushing to conclude syllabuses and in the process it is the students who will suffer.
The University of Swaziland has not been spared in the allowance crisis as some students claim that they still haven’t received their allowances. At UNISWA, students called for a meeting yesterday afternoon even though joint meetings were banned.
The students, who seem to be divided, were warned however by the student representative council that there is no meeting that will be taking place until the issue of meetings has been settled with the administration.
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