15 December 2012

Gambia: ICOBAHRD Students Demand Refund of Registration Fees

The students of the International College of Business and Human Resources Development (ICOBAHRD) bitterly complain of not receiving their external certificates and refund for registration fees as the institution went bankrupt.

The disgruntled students complained of not getting their external certificates after paying £300 for registration two years back. The group of forty students lamented the difficulties encountered in trying to get their money. They condemned the management for delaying their time all these years.

"The management said they cannot refund everybody because they don't have money", said a disgruntled student.

It is reported that the management promised to refund the students through a list prepared by them. The students informed this paper that not a single one of them was refunded until now. They said they have doubts because they have heard of accusations that the institution is dying from financial trauma.

Meanwhile, Mr. Babucarr Sarr, the Chief Operating Officer of ICOBAHRD blames the problem on the students for not completing their assignments. He lamented about the financial crisis facing his institution and its plan to close down. He reaffirmed the promise to refund all students the sooner they get the money from their interlocutor in the UK.

"For economic reasons, we request for twenty students to complete their assignments for the external verifiers to examine them. As we speak it is only twelve out of forty students who completed their assignments for two years", he pointed out.

Chief Operating Officer Sarr explained that the criteria for each student was to write an assignment for a unit to the standard of (BTEC) a British Award body. He asserted that the awarding body would send external verifiers and his institution would pay for their air tickets and accommodation in the country. He disclosed that the registration fee of £300 was meant for the assessment of the student and verification of their work.

"Over the years, we have an outstanding loan with the bank amounted to D400,000", he disclosed.

Mr. Sarr explained that the management has contacted the proprietors of the institution in the United Kingdom. He claimed that the money was given to one Professor Fred Walemba who is their interlocutor in the UK. He further claimed that the management is making all efforts to get the money back from Professor Walemba.

"The money available is not enough. We said priority should be given to those who first finish their assignments until Walemba sends the money", he pointed out.

The ICOBAHRD Chief Operating Officer disclosed that the institution is not taking any intakes because the business model of the college is not viable. He mentioned D1.5 million of outstanding balance from students who did not pay tuition fees. He indicates that the college would close down after the last intake as it is operating at a loss.

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