7 August 2012

Sierra Leone: FBC Impasse Resolved Before Weekend

With the smooth running of the Fourah Bay College (FBC) administration disrupted and the ongoing second semester examinations halted, the president of the National Union of Sierra Leone Students (NUSS) has told colleagues that the government, through the Chief of Staff in the Office of the President, Dr. Kaifala Marah, has assured that the issue of the rusticated students would be resolved before the weekend.

Throughout the 2011/2012 academic year, FBC students, including those from provincial towns, were denied access to the college hostels on the pretext that they are to be renovated.

In an earlier interview with Concord Times, FBC's public relations officer, Ms Aforo disclosed that a Ghanaian company has been contracted to rehabilitate the hostels but the college administration is yet to produce the requested amount for the refurbishment.

She added that when the renovation work is completed by the company, the hostels would be privatized and rental costs would be regulated to match the earnings of students.

Since the refurbishment did not take place as promised, some students occupied the hostels illegally despite strict warnings from the college administration. This act by students was viewed as an affront to the college authority hence the administration, through its senate, decided to rusticate the 31 students involved in the illegal occupation thus creating a row between the aggrieved students and the administration.

However, while addressing students yesterday at the State Avenue, just across State House in Freetown after he and five other students met with the Chief of Staff, NUSS president Ibrahim. I Mansaray encouraged his colleagues to exercise some resilience as the issue would be resolved amicably towards the weekend.

Meanwhile, some concerned citizens have condemned the action of the college administration, saying the rustication is disproportionate to the crime allegedly committed by the students.

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