Over 50 students from the William V.S. Tubman Teacher’s College at the University of Liberia early Monday besieged the grounds of the Ministry of Education, demanding the resignation of Minister George K. Werner.
Speaking in an interview with this paper, Cyrus K.T. Kortu, spokesperson for the group of aggrieved students, said since the ascendancy of Minister Werner to the ministry, their monthly allowances or stipends have been allegedly terminated.
According to him, Minister Werner abruptly announced on state radio – ELBC that students in the Teacher’s College, benefiting from government scholarship and desirous of remaining the scholarship should apply or re-apply to know their status.
Mr. Kortu said the pronouncement by the minister was untimely, described Werner as dictatorial and lacking leadership ability. “We are currently benefiting from the scholarship, so it is not necessary to reapply” he argued.
He recalled that based on her interest for education, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in collaboration with the Legislature decided to assist the youth of Liberia thru scholarships to enable them acquire knowledge and improve their human resource capacity, adding a nation with a solid foundation in terms of education, grows faster with development.
“We will continue to besiege Ministry of Education every day until our demands are met,” Mr. Kortu maintained. He further disclosed that they have written series of communications to Minister Werner, concerning the matter but to no avail, so they thought it wise to stage a sin-in by besieging the Ministry and demanding the minister to step down.
“My colleagues and I will continue to remain at the Ministry until evening time, even if it causes us to sleep here, we will do,” he vowed. Mr. Shiffa Baysah, also a student of the William V.S. Tubman Teacher’s College recalled that during the administration of former Education Minister Othello Gongar, they were given scholarship forms to fill in which they did and everything was fine even up to the administration of ex-Minister Etmonia David Tappeh, but when Werner came in, things became bad in terms of scholarships.
These writers along with reporters from other media institutions attempted entering the ministry to get comments from Minister George Werner on the matter, but were prevented by the Director for Early Childhood Education Miss Florence Jone.
By Zee Roberts