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Margibi scholarship program vulnerable

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Mr. Justin Barmen, Acting Chairman Margibi PMC Statistics from the office of the Margibi County Project Management Committee or PMC indicates that the Margibi County scholarship program is vulnerable and most beneficiaries of the program are not Margibians or residents of the county.

The Acting Chairman of the Margibi Project Management Committee Mr. Justin Barmen made the disclosure recently in a PowerPoint Presentation under the caption “Challenges with scholarship program.”

“No policy to govern the program. Most of the beneficiaries are not Margibians or even residents of Margibi County as indicated on most graduation souvenirs”, Mr. Barmen further disclosed.
He said despite the passage of an act in September 2013 exclusively setting aside Firestone Plantation’s contribution to the county scholarship program to be paid directly into the county’s account, the money has always been paid to the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning or MFDP in Monrovia, which makes it almost difficult to receive.

It is reported that Firestone-Liberia annually pays US$160,000 to the county for scholarship besides incomes from China Union and other sources. The PMC report further revealed the county scholarship is not usually awarded on the basis of students’ needs and merit.

Lots of students in the county are said to be decrying poor handling of the scholarship program in the wake of the state of the 2016/2017 academic year. Meanwhile, the PMC has recommended that the county scholarship be awarded to Margibi students based on merit and needs.

The PMC also said a credible committee should be established to manage the program through a lottery process. But many citizens of the county wonder when the PMC recognized these alleged discrepancies in the scholarship program when it has been involved with it over the years.

By Ramsey N. Singbeh, Margibi-Editing by Jonathan Browne

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