By Fostina Mkandawire
Minister of Labour, Kenny Kandodo hinted that government is contemplating on revising tuition and boarding fees for technical colleges across the country.
Kandodo was speaking in Lilongwe, during his familiarization tour of Lilongwe Technical College; Kandodo said government’s goal is to see technical colleges being financially independent.
He said one way that colleges can use to attain financial independence was to revise fees because quality education is expensive.
He said the current fees are on the lower end when even compared with some secondary schools in the country.
“I will take it to parliament to consider revising tuition and boarding fees for technical colleges, it is high time that we thoughtfully considered hiking the fees,” he said.
According to Acting Principal for Lilongwe Technical College Suzgika Mvalo, tuition fee at the college is at MK5000 and boarding fee is at MK8000.
The Minister said with the current fees, delivery of up to date and quality education proves to be difficult hence the need to look into the issue of fee hiking.
“Our government sees technical colleges as important partners in the creation of the 1million jobs therefore we want to create learning environment that facilitate quality delivery of skills,” he said.
Kandodo said it was high time colleges came up with initiatives that could assist them generate revenue for the smooth running of college activities.
He said one of the initiatives could be creating relevant courses that can attract the youth in urban areas.
“Some of these courses can include, beauty courses, short term computer course and photography and editing,” he said.
Kandodo said among the Technical colleges that he had toured across the country, Lilongwe Technical College was by far the best in terms of modern equipment and learning materials, he therefore commended development partners and stakeholders that work hand in hand with the college.
Acting Principal for the college, Suzgika Mvalo said demand for courses that the college offers is overwhelming that they are failing to meet the demand.
He said the institution’s capacity is failing to meet the national demand, adding that students come from all over the country to learn at the college.
“We would appreciate if government would raise our yearly budget allocation for us to meet the demand on the market,” he said.
He therefore, said revising tuition and boarding fees was a welcome idea and they would appreciate if the plan comes to fruition.
Lilongwe Technical College was established in 1963 and during the time only three courses were being offered but currently the college offers 28 programs.-MANA