FRANCISTOWN: North East Education Director, Oupa Masesane has threatened to temporarily close the Francistown College of Technical and Vocational Education (FCTVE) should students continue boycotting classes in protest of meals served by Curry Pot Catering Company.
The threats followed the students’ protests over meals which they say are not hygienic and are they are also accusing the Curry Pot staff of mistreating them. The protests started last Wednesday and the aggrieved students have called for the termination of the catering company’s contract with immediate effect on grounds that the company prepares its food in an unhygienic refectory.
The fuming students said that while they have raised their grievances to the school management in January, promises were made but are yet to be fulfilled. The students are planning to continue with their boycott until their grievances are answered.
The Student Representative Council (SRC) Minister of Hotels and Refectory, Owen Monowe concurred with the students and said that the catering company staff does not treat them as clients but rather as students who should just take orders no matter what.
However, when addressing the fuming students, Masesane said that they should stop the protest while the relevant authorities are still trying to come up with a solution. He said that should the students carry on with the protests, the Regional education office will have no option but to liaise with the Ministry to close the college temporarily in order to solve the issue in the absence of students.
In addition, he told the students that though the contract can be terminated, it is not as easy as the students think.
“As much as we understand the students’ concerns, a contract is a legally binding document which has steps to follow during termination process. So we cannot just terminate the contract immediately without involving all the interested parties,” explained Masesane.
He told students that the food will have to be tested and the kitchen be inspected to prove the allegations of unhygienic food.