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Student-teachers resume strike


’Mantoetse Maama

Lesotho College of Education (LCE) students resumed their strike on Friday after management had failed to give them their allowances as promised when they agreed to call-off the protest on Monday.

The angry student-teachers blocked the main entrance to the college, and would not allow lecturers and other staff entry onto the campus.

The first and third year students had marched to the National Manpower Development Secretariat (NMDS) on Monday where they demanded an audience with the management over the delayed allowances.

According to the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) treasurer, Moeketsi Motlaleng, the learners believed they were not being taken seriously hence the protest.

“This strike started on Monday, but the management promised that before today, Friday, the money would have been made available. But by yesterday, only the second and third year students had been paid, yet the first-years needed the money more urgently as they came to the school before everybody else.

“The third-year students began classes on 3 February, while the first years had started two weeks before.

“We come from different backgrounds, and some of the students desperately need the allowances as it is the only money they can have to buy the basics they need to survive here.

“The first allowance of over M5 000 caters for food, and if we don’t get it, then we suffer,” Mr Motlaleng said.

“We approached the management of both the college and NMDS about the issue but neither would take responsibility for the delay hence this action,” he said.

However, NMDS spokesperson, Moeketsi Rankhone, said the LCE management was to blame for the delay in the disbursement of the funds.

“The LCE management called us on Monday morning requesting advance payment for the students’ food, accommodation, tuition and book allowances.

“We provide this to every institution of higher learning, but the advance claim should be submitted together with the results of continuing students and list of newcomers. This should be done at least two months before the schools open.

“Unfortunately, the LCE management did not submit this information on time, and only did so on 9 February. Now we have to do a process that takes two months, within this short period, and this is the reason for the delay. However, we will try by all means to make those payments to avoid such unnecessary conflicts. We plead with institutions to abide by the rules to avoid such cases,” he said.

The Sunday Express could not get the LCE management’s side of the story as the phones rang unanswered.


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