Striking UL Instructors Risk Dismissal, Administration Warns

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“Student militant” leader Wesseh speaking_web.jpg

The administration of the state-run University of Liberia has drawn a battle line between it and the instructors who are planning to lay down chalk, warning that any instructor that goes on strike will automatically lose his/her job and would be replaced.

Speaking to this paper Monday, June 30, via phone, Vice President for UL Relations, Dr. S. Momolu Getaweh, said the administration has not received the university’s budget from Government for this fiscal period and therefore cannot pay instructors the time they should be paid.

According to Dr. Getaweh, the Vice President for Fiscal Affairs had been negotiating with the Ministry of Finance to give some money to the University to enable the administration pays the instructors.

“We have promised to pay them this Friday.  We do not have money on hand yet to pay them.  If any instructor lays down his/her chalk, we will equally replace that person and he/she will no longer teach in the institution,” Dr. Getaweh warned.

The university is about to administer its mid-term examination after going half way into the semester. It is being scheduled from June 30 to July 6.

However, this decision has been strongly opposed by some students who style themselves as “Student militants.”

The group’s head, Alvin Wesseh, who was dressed in a military camouflage and surrounded by his supporters, told reporters on the Fendell campus of UL that the mid-term cannot hold because most students benefiting from the University of Liberia Student Union (ULSU) scholarship scheme have not completed their registration.

According to him, over 3000 students benefit from the scholarship and that leaving them in the process to administer test is unfair to them.

“Student militants” leader Wesseh, who was intermittently interrupted by his followers with chants and political slogans, added that they are also in the mood to protest against the UL Administration for charging US$350 as dormitory fee for a student.

The “Militants” said those in administration at the UL have their children in the United States and other places around the world attending “good schools,” but are creating tough conditions for the ordinary Liberian students.

He described the Fendell campus as a place of “no use” to students, stressing that there are no modern equipment to help students’ learning.

When Vice President for UL Relations Dr. Momolu Getaweh was contacted on these issues, he alluded that students were still registering but at the same time instructors have been asked to evaluate students on the basis of what they have taught them.

Dr. Getaweh said at the end of the semester instructors will use grade points from their evaluation to determine students’ grade points after the final examination.

He did not exactly state whether the evaluation suggested is the same as the mid-term examination, but mid-term as usually done, is administered by individual instructor except final exam that is jointly done by each department.

Meanwhile, demonstration against mid-term examination at the University of Liberia is becoming a culture.

It can be recalled that on numerous occasions in the past students had demonstrated against the administration of mid-term and had always continued registration even up to final examination.

As the mid-term schedule was announced two weeks ago, many students especially some, who claimed to be on the ULSU scholarship were heard as saying that “It will not hold,” meaning the mid-term examination won’t be administered.

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