The New Dawn (Monrovia)

28 November 2012

Liberia: No Statistics On Chinese Universities

The Director General of the National Commission on Higher Education, Dr. Michael Slawon has disclosed here that the commission has no statistics on Chinese universities and colleges that Liberian students are nominated to for foreign studies.

Speaking to the New Dawn Tuesday in his office at the Ministry of Education in Monrovia, Dr. Slawon said as the result, the Government of Liberia, especially the Commission on Higher Education is not aware whether those universities and colleges are accredited by the Chinese government to offer those post graduate degrees.

He noted that there are some institutions of higher learning that are not accredited by the government of that country as they are only intended for business purpose and money making.

But in the case of Liberia, the Chinese scholarships provided to her Liberian counterpart is on bilateral basis, creating the gap for his commission and other relevant institutions within the government sector here to make further counter check on universities and colleges in China.

Dr. Slawon lamented that this is appalling and detrimental to the existence of Liberians, noting that Chinese graduate medical practitioners are returning to the country to serve in the medical sector to display their expertise on the lives of Liberians.

He revealed that report from China indicates that foreign medical students from Liberia are not allowed to do their practical in Chinese hospitals because the Chinese government does not trust their level of experience.

Dr. Slawon's comments are in the wake of concern raised by the Chairperson of the Liberia Medical and Dental Council (LMDC) Professor Robert Kpoto that most Liberian medical students from China under perform.

Recently, the Liberia Medical and Dental Council (LMDC) called on the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MOHSW) and the Ministry of Education to place a hold on awarding scholarships to medical students for study in China. Speaking at a news conference in Monrovia on Monday, Professor Kpoto said medical practitioners graduating from Chinese medical schools are below expectation.

According to him, this could be attributed to the selection process of students benefiting from such scholarship program, which may have not been executed properly.

Hear Prof. Kpoto: "Medical practitioners graduating from Chinese medical schools are performing below expectation. They are even incomparable with doctors who are here. I mean, they are failure and something must be done about this."

"I want to think that something might have gone wrong in the selection and vetting processes of these students, who have been given scholarship to study medicine in China," said Prof. Kpoto.

He said meanwhile recommended that the LMDC should form part of the entire selection and vetting processes in order to get the right students for such foreign studies, particularly in the medical profession.

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