Angry students and staff at UTech protesting over gov't subvention
Angry staff and students at the University of Technology, Jamaica (UTech) are staging a protest at the entrance of the Papine, St Andrew-based institution.
Clad in black, the throngs of protesters say they are demanding an increase in the subvention to the university by the Government.
UTech Principal Professor Stephen Vasciannie sought to bring calm to the situation.
"We are close to a solution. We don't want to do anything to spoil that up. Very close," Professor Vasciannie told protesters.
The Gleaner was informed that some classes have been suspended because of the protest.
Student groups at the institution have been disseminating messages via social media urging students not to turn up for regular classes and to join the protest.
The university administration said it would not endorse the protest, noting that it has been in talks with the Ministry of Education to review the disbursement.
Education Minister Ruel Reid has said that a number of issues at the institution are hindering the progress of the negotiations.
“They know the staff complement of UTech is to be regularised before there can be any consideration for adjustment. Those technical works have not yet been completed, and they are also to have a further meeting with Mr [Nigel] Clarke (finance minister) to look at the overall submission … so I am just saying that they are very much aware that there is a process. There is anxiety, but there is a process to be pursued, and we are not at the end of the process,” Reid told The Gleaner yesterday.