Editorial: Students of the University of Liberia preparing for final exams and graduation are being forced to stay home because of disengagement by lecturers and instructors in demand of salary arrears and salary disparities.
Operating under the body of the University of Liberia Faculty Association or ULFA, they issued a communique last week, disengaging from all academic activities until their demands are met
ULFA reached this conclusion despite assurance from the Government of Liberia to increase faculties’ salaries in what seems to be clearly belated.
However, the real victims of the current disengagement by the faculty are the more than 10,000 struggling students of the University of Liberia, the majority of whom cannot afford fees at private universities in the country, so are stock at the state-owned University with its huge capacity gap as a result of inadequate funding.
Those students have no choice but to endure unnecessary interruptions in their academic programs because of poor administrative leadership and decisions.
Finance Minister Samuel Tweah frantically made a last-minute negotiation with ULFA officials last week prior to their disengagement, asking them to return to the classroom with a promise to take charge of the payroll.
But his pleading did not yield any positive fruit, as the faculties abandoned lectures, demanding unpaid salaries and demeaning disparities in their monthly income.
It is becoming a trend for the Minister of Finance and Developing Planning Tweah to allow situations to reach crisis proportion before attempting to intervene somehow unsuccessfully. The case with teachers of the Monrovia Consolidated School System is one instance.
For God’s sake, can’t these protests be averted by early or pro-active interventions other than carrying water when a fire has already razed an entire building to the ground, as it was done with the case of the UL Faculty?
When potential conflict situations are allowed to reach points of disengagement, there are always accompanying unintended consequences or what economists called externalities, which students at the University of Liberia are currently going thru largely as a result of poor planning or failure to plan. The faculty disengagement clearly has offset the academic calendar and left students with uncertainty over when they will write exams before the Christmas holiday. https://thenewdawnliberia.com/liberia-ul-faculties-disengage-again/