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Chakwera hikes upkeep allowance for students in public universities

Government has announced upward adjustment of upkeep allowance for students in public institutions of higher learning from K350, 000 to K560 000 per annum representing a 60 percent increase.

Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Simplex Chithyola-Banda announced the development on Monday.

Chithyola-Banda made the announcement during his response to concerns raised by opposition parties and the parliamentary cluster committees.

Early this month, President Lazarus Chakwera’s ordered an increase to tax payer-funded students’ upkeep allowances to help them afford basic needs.

“I am directing you [Ministry of Education] to work with the National Council for Higher Education and the Ministry of Finance to review the university student loans.

“The allowances they get should be increased as we did last year… They should not be lacking basic needs like soap and sugar. Let us support them,” ordered Chakwera

The presidential order followed an outcry from university students that the K350 000 academic year allowance is not adequate due to rising inflation and the 44 percent kwacha devaluation.

The allowance was revised in 2021 from K200 000 when students proposed that it be adjusted to K550 000, but the Ministry of Education rejected the proposal citing lack of funds

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