By Khahliso Khama
MASERU — Limkokwing University students yesterday went on strike protesting against what they called “bad management and poor services”.
The strike started in the morning.
The students said they were not happy with the poor internet services and delays in disbursing their allowances.
They also alleged that the university management had made “empty promises” that they would deal with these problems.
They also alleged that most of the lecturers at the university were either incompetent or unqualified.
Moeketsi Pholo, the president of the Students’ Representative Council (SRC) told the Lesotho Times yesterday that students were also not happy with the delays in finishing the construction of the new MP Campus.
The students alleged that they had been complaining about these issues since the start of the last semester in February.
Management at the university had failed to deal with their grievances, Pholo said.
They said they had since February been asking management to resolve the issues without success.
“We have been submitting these issues to our management but nothing has been done to solve our grievances. So the only option we have is to abandon classes,” Pholo said.
“We have agreed to boycott classes from today till Friday to give the school time to fix all the problems,” he said.
When the Lesotho Times arrived at the campus Setubata Phafoli, a student leader, was addressing students urging them to join the strike.
The management also hastily organised a meeting with the SRC and the Minister of Education and Training ‘Mamphono Khaketla to resolve the dispute.
However Pholo, who was present at the meeting, said Khaketla failed to resolve the problem and instead allegedly threatened to shut down the college if the students did not stop their protest.
“Khaketla said she was not threatening the students but the reality was that she had the power to close down the school,” Pholo said.
He said Khaketla cited the case of the Lesotho College of Education which was shut down in March 2007.
He said Khaketla instructed the students to go back to classes.
Pholo however said the protest will continue tomorrow if their grievances are not addressed adding it was unhealthy for them to learn under the current circumstances prevailing at the school.
But some students at Limkokwing were miffed by the strike.
“I do not support the strike. I came to school with the aim to learn but I was surprised when I learnt there were no classes,” said a student who refused to be named.
“I believe if some students have grievances, they should let some of us who are not interested in striking learn in peace.”
The university’s deputy registrar, Hoohlo Moroka, said management was going to do all in its power to resolve the dispute.
“We have decided to involve some IT students by granting them the responsibility to assist in the multimedia department,” Moroka said.
Moroka said the university will tomorrow issue a report on recommendations to deal with the students’ grievances.
He however said the students’ strike was illegal as they had not followed the correct procedures before embarking on the strike.
“Any group of people that wants to strike should first inform the police and get permission to do so.
“Everyone has the right to strike but that right should not interfere with the rights of those who want to learn,” Moroka said.