Students at the state – run University of Liberia (UL) staged a protest in demand of instructors’ salaries, setting roadblocks in the main street on Capitol Hill to claim authorities’ attention.
The students’ protest on Wednesday, 24 July came as UL instructors refuse to administer final exams for the semester owing to concerns that they have not received salaries for four months.
Financial crisis struck the University following President George MannehWeah’s “free tuition” policy pronouncement last year, a decision that is seen to have immensely affect the income of the institution as government funding to the institution continues to delay.
Leading the protest, the Student Unification Party (SUP) Chairman Carlos TengbehEddison urges President Weah to stop giving money to wayward Liberians also referred to as Zogos at a time teachers cannot get their pay.
Mr. Eddison argues that UL students had neverasked the President for free education, but rather quality education.
According to him, since President Weah made the pronouncement of free tuition, he has not been able to mark his words with deeds.
Mt. Eddison complains that since the announcement of the free tuition by President Weah, the education system at UL has been undermined, noting that education which is students’ vital right is now under threat in Liberia.
According to Eddison, for the past four months, UL instructors have not gotten any money, and some staff’s salaries have allegedly been cut off.
In the wake of the protest, the Inspector General of the Liberia National Police (LNP) Col. Patrick Sudue personally engaged the students and calmed the situation.
Making his intervention, Col. Sudue assures the students that the process of paying instructors their salaries has started.
Col. Sudue request that Chairman Eddisontake the students off the road and follow him on the campus to make follow up on the teachers’ salaries issue.
The police chief further indicated that they will go to all the places necessary to show to Chairman Eddison that the teachers have started taking their pay.According to Col. Sudue, if the teachers are not taking pay, he will go to the Ministry of Education to [make follow up].By Ethel A. Tweh
–Edited by Winston W. Parley