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Protest turns bloody at UL

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Protest on the main campus of the University of Liberia turned bloody on Monday, August 2, when riot Police dispersed protesting students with rubber bullets, leaving several students wounded.

The students mainly from the campus-based Student Unification Party (SUP) attired in their usual kakis uniform that symbolizes their militancy had converged to protest the E-learning program introduced by the administration, which avoids in-person classes in the wake of resurge of the coronavirus.

Prior to, and since the start of the 2021-2022 Semester, they have consistently complained of going online without seeing lessons from class lecturers, prompting them to call for a return to normal attendance of classes in person.

However, as the protest gained momentum Monday, riot officers from the Liberia National Police moved on the campus and discharged hail of rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse the students, injuring several of them.

Police spokesman Moses Carter did not take journalists’ calls yesterday on inquiry about the clashes.

The students claim the President of the University of Liberia, Dr. Julius Sarwolo Nelson, Jr., cares less about their education.

But the Vice President for University Relations Attorney Norris Tweah, brother of Liberia’s Minister of Finance and Development Planning, Samuel Tweah, is quoted as dismissing the students’ claim, saying that Dr. Nelson is a student-sensitive leader, who has always prioritized learning on all campuses of the university.

However, critics say the E-learning introduced on campus is a flood-gate for instructors and lecturers to commit excesses such as sex and money for grade, as the process is not being adequately monitored.

They also note that during the introduction of the exercise last semester, most instructors and lecturers did not attend training organized by the administration and thus, lack adequate knowledge themselves of its practical implementation. Story by Jonathan Browne 

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