The Students Unification Party (SUP) has threatened to bring to a standstill all activities of the University of Liberia until the government and the university’s administration renovate the school buildings.
Weeks ago, the students protested against the e-learning program for which pressure mounted on the administration to resume in-person learning. The students are at this time demanding the university’s authority to modernize the Science College building, provide more buses, clean the bathrooms and ensure that electricity is restored and the laboratories improved.
Mustapha Kermal Kanneh, SUP, Secretary, said “You will go for a three-month vacation. Start to enroll in vocational school to learn catering, hairdressing, interior decoration,or something else to do for that three-month period.”
Since last week, the group has assembled in their numbers informing the students that classes will be suspended for three months and they will carry out a series of protests to petition the administration to remove cattle (cows and bulls) on the campus and install internet services.
Since the resumption of in-person learning, many of the students have complained about the lack of water for use in the toilets and the absence of teachers in classes coupled with power outages. Just recently, another student group called the Progressive Student Alliance (PROSA) staged an unannounced protest demanding the university to account for funds generated from entrances and the dormitories that they believed can help to renovate the school buildings.
PROSA requested the UL administration to order bus drivers to make a stop or drop students at the Agriculture College that is located far from the main Fendell campus. Students have complained that the buses normally put them down at Cooper’s Farm and they have to walk a long distance to get to the building.
The group also threatened to visit other university campuses to disrupt classes. “If you are not in school, other students in different universities will not be in school. We will go to Stella Marie’s Polyethnic School, Stars Science and Technology College, and Blue Crest University amongst others to disrupt classes there,” the students said.
This action, however, will be an offense against the rights of others to learn as private universities are not responsible for what happens to the state-run university.
“Our women and girls cannot be urinating in the grass. They must put water in the bathroom and restore electricity on the campus. In this modern age, we are using palm wine and juice in our labs for chemistry and physics experiments.”
Kanneh called on the students to join them for three months to call on the government to solve their crisis. “They gave Thomas Fallah US $5 million to build the T-Five University. It is the best university Liberia can boast of now,” Kanneh said.
“Those of you who will refuse to join can stay home for three months,and those who will join will protest along with us for three months until the government can modernize UL,” Kermal
This story was produced with support from Journalists for Human Rights (JHR), through the Mobilizing Media in the Fight Against COVID-19 in partnership with FrontPage Africa and Daily Observer Newspaper.