As Njala University students recently unhappily protested over months of ‘no lectures’ owing to current strike action by lecturers, government last week glorified a foreign owned university- Limkokwing.
Njala lecturers had gone into an industrial strike action, laying down tools because of no payment of backlog salaries owed them for three years.
The membership of the college’s Academic Staff Association (ASA), till date, refused going back to class because the institution’s administration had botched yielding to agreement for an increase of salary as well as facilities due lecturers.
This, recently, forced thousands of deprived students taken to the streets as they annoyingly protested in the front of the Office of President Koroma, with placards bearing the inscription: “we are tired staying home doing nothing” while also compelling government do something in putting to rest the current standoff.
The students’ disillusionment relates to allegations that the Minister of Education, Minkailu Bah, facilitated payment of over Le 3 billion to Limkokwing (a foreign University) as was lately established in the country.
A source recently tells the New AGE that money hurriedly given Limkokwing came as a result of Minister Minkailu Bah’s hands in the University, thus his pay-no-attention to the plight of local institutions the like of Njala, others.
Findings also point to the fact that the Minister decided to subsidize a whopping $3,000 each to almost all the students of Limkokwing, which we are told amounted to 3 Billion Leones.
As at press time, reports say Njala Lecturers are currently planning full-bodied strike action in the weeks to come, as they insistently demand for their February salary, which as we speak is yet to reach them owing to government’s failure in paying out the college’s subvention.
Educationists however say that ever since the President Koroma government came to power in 2007, education has gone from bad to worse, with no vision rescuing it.
One Njala lecturer who asked for his name not to be mentioned quoted words of British Spokesman Lord Halifax as saying: “I often think how much easier the world would have been to manage if Herr Hitler and Signor Mussolini had been at Oxford,” in a way obliging the ruling APC governments put premium to education if Sierra Leone is to develop.
Efforts getting the side of the Education Ministry proved futile.