President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf has shut down the Bong County Technical College (BCTC) that has been rocked by students protest since June against the running of the college by an interim management team.
“We decided the college remains closed for now”, President Sirleaf said Thursday, 22 June outside the college in Gbarnga, Bong County amidst loud hands of applause and cheers from protesting students.
But she has asked the students to refrain from violence and any action that could put the college in a worse situation.She says everything decided at the meeting in Gbarnga with the Bong Legislative Caucus, the college’s board members, interim management team and government officials will be put before the full legislative caucus in Monrovia.
By bringing the matter to Monrovia, President Sirleaf intends to have other relevant government institutions come around the table with the legislative caucus to fix the problem by the time the school opens in September this year.
Members of the college advisory board, including Dr. Wiles, Bishop Kula and the interim management team, including Dr. Massaquoi and the three other assistants were present at the meeting.
But the President clarifies that it is not the students that closed the college, noting that it is a decision of government while investigation is being conducted.
She says before government opens the school in September, there will be a new management, though she notes that it does not imply that she will fire everybody that is now serving.
Rather, she says the new management will be guided by new rules, new qualification and everything, and promises that the money problem that the college faces will be looked at because the construction of the building should have been finished long time.
While the college remains close, she says security will be placed there to protect the facility.The Bong Technical College has been plagued by series of problems, including administrative and poor implementation of construction plan by a Chinese contracted firm despite payment of funds by the government.
By Winston W. Parley-Editing by Jonathan Browne