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Sierra Leone News: Development depends on quality education

President Julius Maada Bio told university administrators that he wants quality education. “We cannot achieve quality education if we oversubscribe on admissions to the different institutions of higher learning,” he said. He admonished the administrators, “I urge all institutions to admit only the number of students that you have facilities and resources to adequately support. It is unacceptable to have university students sit on the floor during lectures and during examinations. It is also a human rights violation.”
Stating that it is important for a nation to develop, “We must pay absolute attention not only to increase access to quality education but also to improve the standards of education.”
Fees for tertiary education have been a challenge for students and their parents. Some drop out of their courses because they cannot afford to pay their fees. Governments have been providing a grant-in-aid scholarship for students; in this regard President Bio said, “in addition to the Grants-In-Aid scheme, the government will introduce a Student Loan Scheme which will provide loans to deserving students.”
The Ag. Vice Chancellor of the Njala University, Ernest Ndomahina, said discipline in the university has been a problem. Between 2015/2016, about 200 students were rusticated for indiscipline especially when students were attacked with weapons like knives and sticks. Some workers have been either dismissed or terminated because of financial impropriety.
For examination malpractice, the Ag. VC said, in 2016/2017, they rusticated more than 300 students for one year each and since then not a single case has been reported.
By Betty Milton
Tuesday June 12, 2018.

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