To what extent can school alumni pay back to institutions that bred them?

The Mzuni management seems to pay deaf ears to the inspection of the facilities to take note of the extent of ruin taking place on the infrastructure, writes Richard Kayenda

Mzuni's Alumni Association's newly-elected President, John Paul(right) and his running mate, Misheck Banda (L) delivering an acceptance speech after the elections

On Thursday last week, an association of alumni for the Northern Region based public higher learning institution, Mzuzu University, met and shared some lighter moments in form of an elective Annual General Meeting at Kabumba Hotel in Salima.

The event was one that was actually graced by a top government official who is a minister of Civic Education and National Unity, Timothy Pagonachi Mtambo; what more the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor John Kalenga Saka and other notables who by coincidence, are products of the same institution. 

I happen to be one of the beneficiaries of the institution, and by my being one of the alumni of the same, I still find time to visit the institution and exercise my own Management By Walking Around (MBWA) skills and what I note every time I am there is quite excruciating. 

By its very nature of being a tertiary institution; Mzuzu University, just like the rest of its counterparts, has and it continues to produce a lot of professionals who are becoming an integral part of different industries both locally and internationally. Imagining what such professionals put out there through their hard work, one would be made to believe that Mzuni, as is popularly known, is such a magnificent institution with modern and state of the art infrastructure and such buildings are always well managed and regularly renovated.

But alas! Yes, to some extent, one would say the campus boasts of some modern buildings but now the condition in which the structures are; in particular, the hostels, is a sorry one. The fittings such as mirrors, door handles, showers and sinks in areas like ablution blocks, and rooms are not only damaged, but they are also dysfunctional. The management of the institution, on the other hand, seems to pay deaf ears to the inspection of the facilities to take note of the extent of ruin taking place on the infrastructure.

It is, therefore, my opinion that an association of alumni of the  institution; and many others, can go an extra mile in instituting a committee that would be responsible for the management of its buildings through collaboration with administration team of the same.

The committee, in partnership with the administration, can devise better mechanisms of reaching out to current students and civic educate them on the need to care for the facilities of the institution.   

Such an initiative can be achieved  through fundraising activities done by the alumni themselves to source some financial resources that can help in renovation of hostels, classrooms; procurement of desks, books and even other infrastructural aspects of the institution.

Such an association has capabilities of even constructing a hostel within the premises of the institution for the benefit of prospective students. Such a dream only needs some strong will from the incumbent leadership of the same.

Recently, we have seen alumni associations of institutions like Mzuzu Government Secondary School, Malosa Secondary School and many other institutions coming together to raise funds for some development activities for the institutions that bred them. This is the spirit we need as a cultured section of the citizenry to help our government develop the nation; else if we cannot do something for our country, then who will do it?

It is apparent that such associations usually do something for their schools. However, it is my conviction that they can do much more than what is already done previously. All that is needed is the strong will to pay back to the institutions that cleared the path to one's success! 

It is possible! It begins with us!

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