The education class of 2007 at Chancellor College wants the University of Malawi (Unima) graduation, set for October 24, to be postponed after noting that their programme is missing on the congregation list.
The development could shake up preparations for the coronation of President Joyce Banda as Unima Chancellor, a symbolic event that will take place during the same function.
According to the class spokesperson, Nike Msamba, an education humanities student, they had a meeting with their collegeâ€™s management on Monday, October 8, to seek explanations on their missing from the graduating programmes list.
Msamba said they were told it is because they are still students as they have not completed their teaching practices (TP), in partial fulfilment of their bachelorâ€™s degree.
The 200 education students, therefore, want the graduation postponed to a later date when they will have been done with their TP, ending on December 7 or the TP be cut short so they graduate with their colleagues.
Msamba argued that if they are not going to graduate this October 24, they are going to graduate next year, which means graduating with their juniors, the class of 2008.
â€œIf we graduate next year as it stands, it will be like we have spent six years for a four-year programme and on our part, this is unfair because we, the Faculty of Education, are part of the University of Malawi,â€ said Msamba.
Chanco principal Professor Chris Kamlongera confirmed meeting the students, but was quick to say the arguments made by the students are not valid since the University of Malawi does not graduate students who still have some steps to do to finish their programme.
Kamlongera said Unima regulations state clearly that education students shall graduate after finishing their TP and since the students have not fulfilled that, they will not graduate.
He also said Chancellor College does not graduate students, rather, it is Unima.
Said Kamlongera: â€œAs Chancellor College, the Senate only approves the names of students who have passed their final year, but it is the University of Malawi office that graduates and awards degrees to the students.â€