Students of the University of Liberia have in diverse views reacted to President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s annual message on facilities she mentioned that are yet to be seen at the state-run university.
Shortly after the President’s message, UL students at the Fendell campus wondered what she meant by: “We are proud of the record of progress at the University of Liberia. There are 31,000 students enrolled at four campuses – Capitol Hill, Dogliotti, Straz-Sinje and Fendell, all of which have new and improved facilities.”
“Could it be the Chinese building here that the President calls new facility? This building was dedicated since 2010 as a political commodity, and it cannot even be maintained by the government and the UL authority. When you go in, termites have eaten all the doors and the tiles are moving. The paint is moving from the walls as seen all over,” a group of male students mocked in laughter in reaction to the President’s talk of improved facilities at the UL campuses.
A number of science students also described the message as a “mockery,” emphasizing that needed equipment to do lab work are still not available as the students use charcoal to heat chemical components during lab classes.
“Why will you talk about equipments for lab? Let the university authority and government paint the buildings here first,” a female student suggested in reaction to the message.
“People who work in this woman’s administration are not fair to the country, and to her. Budget is allotted to this university, but you will never feel its impact on any facility here. They may say it is used to pay staff, but you will hear that part-time instructors are complaining of delays in salary disbursement,” another female student remarked.
Meanwhile, most of the buildings on the UL Monrovia campus are now dilapidated. With this condition, the president, Dr. Emmet A. Dennis in 2015, launched the “Paint UL” campaign to solicit funds from alumni to paint the buildings.
Since last year, the public is yet to be informed how much the campaign realized and what has been done, as all the buildings remain in the same condition.