8 February 2011

Liberia: Ameu Students Rampage Against 'Poor Education'

Academic activities were disrupted on Monday at the African Methodist Episcopal University after students protested against authorities of AMEU for "failure to provide them quality education."

Hundreds of students protesters were seen holding placards, chanting words of disapproval against the AMEU authorities as they prevented the free flow of traffic along Camp Johnson Road where the university is located.

The aggrieved students claimed that they are being "defrauded" by the AMEU administration for increasing the fee per course from US$8 to US$11 whereas they received no quality education in return, adding: "Our instructors are paid less than others outside this institution."

"We lack instructors. Most of our instructors have left because of low pay and no benefits. So, the administration brings in junior students from the University of Liberia to teach us. We want the administration to pay our instructors well so that we can get the reward of our US$11," some shouted, wielding placards in their hands.

Student Randall M. Dobayou II, who claimed to be their spokesman, told this paper that the institution continues to hike fees for the payment of credit hours in spite of its "poor academic status" as compared to other universities here.

The student also claimed that the institution has violated their political rights by placing a ban on "student politics" for "reasons during past years".

"We see this oppressive and undemocratic decision of the University's functionaries as counter productive...where is our political and social freedom? How can you grow with a draconian and undemocratic policy?" Dobayou asked.

Student William Ketter also said they pay US$5 for sports and US4.00 as activity fees with no extra curricula activities being offered on the campus.

"We have engaged the administration on these issues on several occasions, but to no avail.They have not taken our plights into consideration. We will be here until the next one week, unless they listen to us and take us serious," he said.

Margaret Tellewoyan, another student complained: "We come to school many days without instructors. We pay our money...our hard earned money and we are not benefiting from it. We pay for medication, when you are sick, they give you three paracetamol tablets. So we are asking the administration to increase the pay of our teachers and provide the necessary facilities we are paying for."

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