By Henry Kargbo
For of blames from development partners and donors of the much talked about free education and human capital development government has off late catch up and realized that it should honour the payment of fees for Sierra Leone Government-Grant-In Aid student of Limkokwing College, having refused on several occasion to pay their fees, on grounds of flimsy excuses and blame shifting to the last administration.
Speaking at the Ministry of Information and Communications weekly news conference on Thursday, 3rd June, 2021 at the ministry’s conference hall at Youyi Building in Freetown Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Prof. Alpha Tejan Wurie disclosed plans by government through him ministry to pay a three-year tuition fees to the tune of Three Million United States Dollar for Sierra Leone Government-Grant-In-Aid students at Limkokwing College.
He said the fees will cater for students who have completed their Diploma and Degree courses with the exemptions of those at certificates level, recalling how the last government signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Limkokwing College in 2013, which according to him was not vetted by the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice nor taken to cabinet or parliament for approval.
Prof. Wurie informed new men that the said MOU requires the government of Sierra Leone to pay for one thousand two hundred (1,200) students at Degree and Diploma levels at the college, adding that the fee of one student offering a Degree course at Limkokwing can cover the fees of five to six students at Fourah Bay College.
He said it is thus a choice for government to pay fees for a student at Limkokwing as against five to six students at FBC.
The Minister of Higher and Technical Education said the current government upon taking over the country’s realm of affairs in 2018, it came into settlement and a contract was eventually signed to pay certain rate for students, but that the college asked for 10% reduction which led the student to strike even as the government wanted students to get access to classes.
In 2018 to 2019, he revealed, a payment plan was agreed upon with the government to pay $2.3 million for one year, adding that with such payment for 17 months, students were not granted access to classes.
“There are three hundred students that have completed their Diploma courses but could not get their certificates, and these are those the government have now helped for their issue to solve.