Agric students  in protest

Agric students in protest

MASERU – STUDENTS at the Lesotho Agricultural College (LAC) are up in arms against the school management accusing it of mismanaging the institution. The students have been boycotting lectures since Tuesday.
The students accuse the college’s management of kicking them out of the premises without giving any reasons.
They said they had raised concerns about the rundown infrastructure, broken windows and leaking water taps and dirty toilets.
The students alleged the college was not being properly maintained.

They also complained that the college’s laboratories were not in good state and as a result they cannot perform some experiments well due to insufficient equipment.
Those studying animal husbandry say there is no livestock at the college and they are unable to do practical lessons.
Speaking on behalf of the students’ union, Keletso Makoetlane, said instead of holding a welcoming meeting with the students after the school opening last month, to their shock and dismay they were told that they would not be provided with accommodation.

While they were still waiting for an explanation they heard the management speaking on Radio Lesotho saying it called them thrice but they did not comply. They wanted the college’s registrar to go back to the radio station to withdraw the statement.
When the registrar refused, they wrote the rector asking him to fire the registrar and they threatened to boycott classes if their demand was not met.
The rector, Motebang Pomela, advised them that the registrar was hired by the Public Service Ministry and so they should write the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, which they did.

Makoetlane said on August 30 the registrar called a meeting together with the police with the entire students’ union and dismissed classes.
The management said they would repair the infrastructure later. “We only learned that nothing had been maintained; toilets, windows and water taps to provide drinking water instead furrows have been dug near the toilets,” she states.

On the same day Makoetlane explained that the principal did not delegate anyone to address them.
According to the students union the police came but they did not utter any word to them hence they started singing for the rest of the day and left the premises.

The following day the students said they thought Pomela would call a meeting but he did not instead a man whom some said was a principal secretary arrived at the school in the afternoon and went straight to Pomela’s office for about an hour. According to Makoetlane, after an hour a lecturer called students to assemble and wait for the principal secretary.

It was there where the PS told them to go home until further notice. The Students Representative Council is planning to meet both the Education and Agriculture Ministers over the standoff, Makoetlane said. The students said they want the government to urgently audit the school.

Tokase Mphutlane

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