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When dictators call the shots

AUTHORITIES at Limkokwing University of Creative Technology have decided to expel the president of the Student Representative Council (SRC) for disrupting academic activities at the beleaguered institute of higher education.

For starters, it would be difficult to fathom how one student would successfully disrupt activities at such a big university.

It is interesting that these allegations come after students at the college embarked on a strike which resulted in the university being shut down for three weeks in September.

Everybody knows that the strike was spearheaded by the student leaders at the campus.

But it is also well-known that all Limkokwing students participated in the strike.

The demands by the students have been very clear.

The students want to be tutored by qualified teachers.

They want uninterrupted access to the internet which has taken the place of poorly resourced libraries at the university. 

And when they returned after the three weeks of demonstrations the students wanted to be given time to study before sitting for any examinations.

These are legitimate concerns that Limkokwing authorities needed to address as matter of urgency.

Yet the first thing that the university authorities thought of doing in order to solve the students’ grievances was to expel the SRC president.

One wonders how the expulsion of a student leader will, for instance, improve internet accessibility at the university.

We also wonder whether the exclusion of Moeketsi Pholo from the university will miraculously improve the quality of teachers holding fort at the university.

The college authorities have in the past admitted to the occasional interruption of internet services at the campus blaming it on the service providers.

It’s also a common secret that a huge fraction of the so-called lecturers at Limkokwing are not qualified to be university teachers.

Vuvuzela believes a good number of them should be teaching in our high schools or at least furthering their education at the same university before they start masquerading as masters of any academic field.

So it is disquieting when Limkokwing authorities decide to ignore the real problems affecting the institution and instead decide to victimise student leaders whose responsibility is to ensure that the academic rights of their colleagues are protected.

But this is what happens when dictators are allowed to run institutions of higher learning.

Instead of advancing academic freedom, which is the hallmark of any institute of higher learning, authorities at Limkokwing are working hard to stifle basic freedoms and rights at the university.

Yet such a blatant assault on academic freedom by Likokwing authorities should give intelligent students more reason to organize themselves.

Vuvuzela will cherish the day university students across the country will organise themselves into a national students union that will defend not only student rights but the rights of all citizens.

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