21 May 2012

Liberia: Lecturers Go-Slow At Cuttington

Professors and other teaching staff at the Cuttington University in Bong County have reportedly downed their tools in demand of one month salary arrears. Besides the one month arrear, the lecturers and support staff are also demanding for instructional materials and the usage of CUC's internet café, which has become non-functional for sometimes now.

In an interview with the student community in Cuttington in Suacoco, Bong County at the weekend, they expressed concern at the attitude of the teachers, who have not reported for lectures since two weeks.

"Classes have not been holding because there are no instructors. The professors have downed their chalks two weeks now in demand for back pay, instructional materials and the access (use) of the internet café," Jennie Kollie, a female student told this paper via mobile phone.

Another student stated: "The strike action by the lecturers is a disturbance as graduation is early July, but final exams could be 17 June. We need to write final and defend our thesis."

The instructors' go-slow was confirmed by Joshua Giddings, Vice President for Public Relations of the university. He claimed instructors involved in the strike are from the natural sciences, but the students denied.

However, Giddings said the university was indebted to the instructors only for May, 2012 and payment was expected this week. The university blamed the Finance Ministry for bureaucratic button-neck in releasing its allotment.

Cuttington University, which is owned and managed by the Episcopal Church in Liberia, seems to have top the list of the most expensive private universities here.

Undergraduate students at Cuttington are paying US$35.00 per credit hour despite the subsidy from government annually. In the current fiscal budget year, which ends 30 June, the government allotted US$ 1.1 million for the university, which seems to be huge as compared to other private universities in the country.

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