The Physics Department of the University of Liberia has received equipment departmental staffers consider most needed and valuable to the department in the post-war era.
Materials reaching the department include Triple Beam Balances, Oscilloscopes, Signal Generators, Audio Oscillators, Spectrophotometers, Capacitor Indicators, Analyzers, Paper Cutters, textbooks and Evaporating Dishes.
The senior lab demonstrator of UL Science College, John Y. Flomo, Sr., speaking to the Daily Observer following the presentation of the materials, noted that the equipment now returns the department to its pre-war status.
According to him, the UL Science College only has a small quantity of laboratory materials for students doing freshman and sophomore courses; but junior and senior courses have not had materials since normal activities began after the war.
“Prior to the war we had all these equipment and [more], but [they were] all looted. For us to see them coming back again after the war to the Physics Department is a blessing to us as people who are training others to replace us,” Mr. Flomo said.
Mr. Flomo noted that prior to the arrival of the equipment; they were doing what he called “Touch experiments” to acquaint students with what equipment to use in doing certain experiments.
He explained “Touch experiment” to be exhibitions of data and names of equipment, and explaining their functions so that students upon seeing or coming across them in the future would not be surprised.
The Dean of the Science College, Dr. Ophelia I. Weeks, a scientist by profession, stressed that the arrival of the equipment will be beneficial to the targeted population only if it is maintained and not stolen.
She also raised concerns about the tightness of the room in which the equipment is stored, noting further that none of recepticals are connected to make the equipment function.
Jusu Hena, a Geophysicist working with the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL) is the negotiator who arranged for the equipment with some families in the United States to be sent to Liberia.
Mr. Hena pledged to negotiate for more equipment to come to the university to help give Science knowledge to Liberians, but cautioned that donors will only be happy to send them if they (equipment) are well maintained.
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Physics Department, Dr. Bobby D. Sebo, acknowledged the arrival of the equipment and pledged the staff's commitment to their security.
He added that the presence of the equipment in the department will enhance lab demonstration and teaching.
Challenges facing thehighest government-owned institution of learning in the country are enormous.
Inadequate laboratory equipment, poor infrastructure and scarcity of textbooks, amongst others are some of the challenges facing the state-run university.