By Patrick N. Mensah, Maryland county
Protesting students of the Tubman University in Harper City, Maryland county have disrupted grade school activities in Harper City, demanding government’s attention to an indefinite go-slow by the faculty association of the University since February.
The aggrieved students last week Tuesday and Thursday – March 8 and 10, 2022, besieged learning activities in the coastal capital, erecting barricades at various school entrances and disrupting normal classes.
Their move is in solidarity with members of the faculty, who have since February 26, 2022, abandoned classes in demand of several counts, including the removal of the TU’s President, Dr. Elliott Wreh Wilson.
Dressed in black T-shirts and jeans trousers, they marched early Tuesday, March 8, from the University’s main campus to disrupt lessons at various grade schools, including public facilities in Harper, chanting, “Wreh Wilson must go.”
The protesting students placed locks and chairs at major entrances (doors) of the Harper Administration building and the Harper City Hall, respectively were women groups from across the county had converged for the observance of this year’s International Woman’s Day, forcing the women to relocate to the St. Theresa’s Catholic Parish Hall to observe the day.
Speaking on behave of the women, Madam Beatrice Weah expressed dismay over the students’ attitude after pleading with them for the continuation of the program.
“I have not felt hurt the way I feel today. We knelt down to beg our children and promised them that we will make sure after our program to reach the president, as mothers on their behalf, but they didn’t listen to us,” she lamented.
The students, at the same time, disrupted a Principals Association meeting at the local head offices of the Ministry of Education in the county, and disbursed students at private and public schools, forcing them out of classes.
The protesting students also disrupted public facilities including the Harper City Hall, the office of the County Education Officer, (CEO), Liberia Revenue Authority local office, the Sea Port of Harper and the Administration Building which hosts offices of County Superintendent Prowd and other line ministries and agencies.
But responding to the situation, CEO Tehneseo P. Brohdonye condemned the act, stressing that the Ministry of Education Maryland Chapter’s mission is to provide all Liberians opportunity to access and complete affordable education of quality, relevance and appropriateness that meets their needs and that of the nation.
He said the County School system regrets the situation, particularly the Harper Educational district amid threats by the students to extend the protest to other educational districts.
He urged the students to remain in the confines and proximity of their campuses and disengage from acts of obstructing learning at various grade schools.
“We empathize with the student community on account of the discourteous acts, and urge everyone to remain calm as necessary measures to instill peace and stability have been communicated to the relevant authority as well as the Ministry of Justice to take appropriate actions to abrogate the occurrence of such ominous act as it frightens the students, parents, teachers, school administrators and the entire school community”, CEO Brohdonye continued.
However, despite the CEO’s plead, students of the Tubman University have vowed to continue demonstrating until the University’s Board of Trustees and requisite government agencies can intervene, noting that the protest is in solidarity with the Faculty Association’s indefinite go-slow that has disrupted normal activities at the second state-owned institution of higher learning in the country.
Recently, the chairperson of the Maryland Legislative Caucus Isaac Roland Blalu said the caucus has resolved to intervene in the crisis so the University can resume normal academic activities.
Addressing reporters during a visit to the county, Representative Blalu said, members of the caucus are not pleased with the current situation engulfing the second state-run University in the southeast.
“I want to be clear here, what is happening at the University, as a caucus, we are not pleased. So, we will continue to pursue this in order to have a definite action or resolution because we need not have an institution in the county where every time there is noise or protest”, the lawmaker expressed.https://thenewdawnliberia.com/caucus-to-probe-tubman-university-saga/ Editing by Jonathan Browne