Heritage (Monrovia)

18 December 2012

Liberia: Several Montserrado Scholarship Students' Fate in Limbo

Several students on the Montserrado County Scholarship Program have reported that they have been put out of classes due to what they call the failure of relevant authorities to disburse funds for the payment of their fees and tuition.

The students recalled that few months ago, they were thoroughly screened and selected by their respective project management team to benefit from the county's scholarship program. According to them, since their names were forwarded to the office of Superintendent Grace T. Kpan, their r fees and tuition are yet to be paid to their various institutions.

In a weekend interview with this paper, the students said the failure of the county's authorities to pay their fees is creating serious embarrassment for them. They said the delay in the payment of the fees has the propensity to deprive them from ending this academic semester.

The students stated that something must be done appropriately in order to find a solution to their problem.

The students wondered while they should be put out of classes when funds have already been allocated for the scholarship program.

The amount of US$15, 600 is said to have been set aside for the Montserrado County Scholarship Program.

The students of the fear that most of them would be dropped from school if their fees and tuition are not paid by the county authorities. Against this backdrop, the students called on Supt. Kpan to see reason for the timely payment of their school fees and tuition to enable them get back to school.

At the same time, the Montserrado County supt. has outlined reasons responsible for her refusal to disburse money for the payment of the students' fees and tuition. Speaking to reporters over the weekend, she said lists comprising names of students from several districts in the county were marred by lot of irregularities.

She named the listing of beneficiaries without specific amount, and the omission of districts on vouchers as some of the irregularities uncovered. Supt. Kpan said names where submitted to her office by some of the county's lawmakers without any attached amount. Instead of going to the PMC, she noted that some lawmakers brought the students to attain the scholarship.

She stated that there were no criteria set aside for the recruitment and screening of the beneficiaries. The government official added that a vast majority of community dwellers were unaware of the entire exercise.

She then vowed not to sign any voucher that has discrepancy as it relates to the county's scholarship program.

Meanwhile, members of the Montserrado County Legislative Caucus are expected to meet President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf this Thursday, December 20, 2012. According to report, the meeting between the Liberian leader and the legislators will highlight series of issues including the 'slow pace' of development projects in the county as well as the disbursement of fees and tuition for scholarship students in the county.

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