Irate Utech students march on Ministry of Education amid lecturer strike

Students of the University of Technology (UTech) staging a peaceful protest outside the Ministry of Education on Heroes Circle in Kingston on Thursday (Photo: Dennis Brown)

Students from the University of Technology’s (UTech) continue their peaceful protest at the headquarters of the Ministry of Education in Kingston, braving humid conditions on Thursday, October 31.

Voicing their concern with the current impasse between the Government and lecturers at the institution, dozens of students turned out with signs voicing their displeasure at the situation, which has escalated to the extent where classes have been suspended.

UTech students say they feel neglected as they become collateral in an impasse between university lecturers and the Government (Photo: Dennis Brown)

Student union representatives, including President Kahlil Hutchinson, First VP, Academic Affairs, Clubs & Societies Rovel Chambers, Hall Chairperson Trudy-Ann Smart as well as VP of Public Relations Raihanna Wallace led the protest from UTech’s Old Road campus to Heroes Circle.

The BUZZ team observed a light police presence in the vicinity of the Ministry of Education overlooking the student protest.

Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) keeping a watchful eye on the protest (Photo: Dennis Brown)

Utech’s student leadership has been locked in a meeting with interim Education Minister Karl Samuda and Acting Permanent Secretary within the ministry, Grace McLean.

Earlier this morning, UTech President Professor Stephen Vasciannie, tried without success to persuade Hutchinson not to follow through with the student protest.

Lecturers at the Papine-based campus have been off the job since last week Friday to register their disappointment with the government’s failure to pay outstanding sums.

Photo: Dennis Brown

The Ministry of Finance has reportedly expressed that it is not in a position to make the payments, a move which has further angered the staff.

More details to come in subsequent updates.