Coletu protests reduced student intake at NUL

MASERU — The Congress of Lesotho Trade Unions (Coletu) will today protest at the National University of Lesotho (NUL) against the government’s decision to slash the student intake for the 2011/12 academic year.
“Coletu decided to picket at NUL in solidarity with the students and members of its affiliated unions who have been affected by the unfortunate low intake of students for academic year 2011/12 by NUL authorities in collaboration with the Ministry of Education,” said Coletu general secretary Vuyani Tyhali during a press conference on Tuesday.
Coletu said today’s protest at the university will involve its members, the Lesotho Teachers Trade Unions (LTTU), Journalists Union of Lesotho and Lesotho College of Education Union (LCEU).
“This ill-advised move by NUL and the Lesotho government will leave potential students with no alternative avenues to further their studies,” Tyhali said.
Tyhali said if the government does not reverse its decision his union will organise a national protest march soon.
“We are going to stage picketing on Thursday (today) but if they don’t respond to our petition we will do something in August when the university opens even though we cannot say it now,” he said.
He added that both NUL and Limkokwing University of Creative Technology (LUCT) had significantly reduced their intakes, dealing a heavy blow to the government’s “education for all policy”.
The president of the Lesotho University Teachers and Researchers Union (Lutaru), Ramohapi Shale, said they were concerned that some students were not given a chance to enroll at university yet they qualify.
Shale said they were convinced that NUL had enough teaching staff and lecture rooms to accommodate more than 2 000 students.
He added that 10 students from Haiti had been given places to study at NUL and some of these were offered scholarships by the university.
“This is at a time when some Basotho students cannot enroll there because they did not get sponsorship.
“The Haiti students who got sponsorship to enroll in the faculty of science can’t speak English, and they will be taught the language first before they continue with their studies,” Shale said.

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