Fourah Bay College, the University of Sierra Leone, was brought to a standstill today as students staged protests , demanding the government and the college administration to address their “multitudes of problems ” , as one student described their concerns on social media.
Major among the students’ concerns are the high increases in tuition, lack of transportation and inadequate lecture rooms and hostels.
The ruling government, headed by president Julius Maada Bio in the wake of his election as the country’s president in early 2018 had made enormous promises to deliver for the improvement of the country’s educational sector through initiatives such as the introduction of student’s loan, relinquishing his status as the University’s chancellor to allow professionalism and efficient service delivery, among others.
Twenty-two months in governance, the constituent colleges of the University of Sierra Leone continue increasing tuition fees and other charges amidst the country’s economic meltdown which has led hundreds of students to go on a protest for the reduction of fees.
For what used to be two million five hundred thousand Leones, students are now charged to pay three million, seven hundred and twenty six thousand leones amidst the huge challenges they face to access transportation to and from the college campus, good seating accommodation etc.
This has led several people to question the free and quality education Initiative launched by the president over a year ago.
This is far from politics. FBC deserves better than what stands today as FBC campus. How on Earth in the 21 century State University is conducting classes for student in a open air, Everyday scene of 3 different classes fighting over a single class room because of shortage of class rooms, 10 years without hostel facilities etc. and yet the fees keep increasing year after year. What are the rationale for an almost 80% increment?
Thank God the students have now waken up from their slumber and have set all political interest aside and have now resolved to put up a United fight to restore the once glorious Anthems of West Africa.
Posted by Moses Ben Kanu on Thursday, January 30, 2020
WE BRING YOU REPORTS BY VARIOUS CITIZEN JOURNALISTS :
As Sierra Leone in deep mess under slpp Bio leadership. Virtually all sectors of our society are in a critical shape. The free quality education which is President Bio’s flagship to draw support from all spectrum of our society have gradually lost credibility.
To many, it is considered as a hoax to fool the electorates now completely impatient and devastated with fake slpp government endless promises
The so called slpp bread and butter issue is another big slap on our intelligence as Sierra Leoneans. As the slpp Bio government lack all it takes to fix even a simple kitchen around any government institution to support staff with breakfast and lunch
Posted by Moses Ben Kanu on Thursday, January 30, 2020
President JULIUS MAADA BIO have almost lost grip of our economy with inflation killing almost every citizen of the country.
The security situation in the country is another endless story with “operation deal with the opposition supporters” and other innocent citizens now declared an order of the day by the slpp Bio government.
Today students at Fourah Bay college, one of our major institution of learning in the country in solidarity with other Tertiary institutions are in the street to protest against what we called the deplorable state of affairs in the education sector in the country despite President Bio call for free and quality education.
Students of *FOURAH BAY COLLEGE, UNIVERSITY OF SIERRA LEONE* have today staged a peaceful protest and demonstration on their campus at Mount aureol.
It was understood by many students today that in the early hours of the morning, there was an ongoing round table engagement between the student union government and the administration of the college for onwards resolution of the grievances of students and to profer ways of improving their welfare.
After a lengthy discussion, the administration was thought to be unwilling to lower the skyrocketed tuition fees they had published at the start of this semester in October last year for the 2019/2020 academic year, which has been the key concern of students.
Seeing this an infringement on the rights of students, president Augustine Bona (student union government), championed several other aggrieved students to stage a peaceful protest and demonstration, as a way of prompting the administration into a favourable action.
The protest erupted as a result of divergence on basic irregularities and malfunctional administrative activities towards the general welfares of the students. These irregularities range from high increment of tution fees, delay in the reopening of the hostels, inadequate buses for transportation, high graduation fees charged amongst other.
As a result of the protest, lectures were forced to halt as students raced to join their colleagues. The faces of all the students were really gloomy, as they sang antisocial songs as well as hoisting placards and banners highlighting areas of redress high in the air. “It’s been as usual that the higher you go the lower the fees become, but we were left perplexed by the said increment. This same increment happened at Njala university, when 25% was added to the normal fees, but after series of engagements it was lowered to normalcy, so why not FBC?” said a third year student who chosed anonymity.