12 June 2018

Sierra Leone: President Bio's Education Policy Put to Test At Eastern Polytechnic

Usually reliable sources at Eastern Polytechnic in Kenema have alleged that the college administration is undermining the education policy of President Julius Maada Bio by violating the Revised Harmonised Conditions of Service for Senior Staff of Polytechnics and Teacher Training Colleges in Sierra Leone.

Registrar of the college, Adonis A. Kanneh, admitted to Concord Times that: "We did not consider the Revised Harmonised Conditions of Service for Senior Staff of Polytechnics and Teacher Training Colleagues in Sierra Leone because it did not cater appropriately for the administration. The proposed salary increment was only for administrative staff members but we are considering including them now that our brothers have raised concern."

Recently, the Senior Staff Association of the institution wrote a strongly worded letter to the principal of the college to express frustration over the attitude of the registrar and finance officer.

In a meeting held on 4th June 2018, the association lamented that their members have neither been promoted nor given salary increase while the administration has been busy increasing salaries of its core staff members.

But the registrar noted that no sooner the academic staff raised concern about promotion and increment of salaries of administrative staff than they summoned a meeting to address the issue.

While there are plans to upgrade the college to a university status, investigations have revealed that if swift actions are not taken to address some of the administrative challenges, the college administration and the academic staff would face-off, thus disturbing the smooth operations of the polytechnic.

Sources in the college told our reporter that the registrar Adonis A. Kanneh had requested the increment of salaries for six (6) administrative staff, leaving out senior academic staff.

Kanneh has admitted that he indeed prepared a document for salary increments for only six administrative staff.

It was further alleged that for the past three years students in need of attestations and results have been paying directly to the secretary of the registrar of the college, rather than into the college bank account.

Eastern Polyphonic was designed as a multi-campus institution, with campuses in Bunumbu in Kailahun district and another at Woama in the Kono district.

The college was established as a result of a merger between Bunumbu Teachers College and Government Technical Institute.

Further investigation revealed that the college has created Distance Learning Programme that encourages teachers in the eastern province to access their programmes and that students pay their fees directly into the Sierra Leone Commercial Bank and Zenith Bank accounts of the college. However, a competent source revealed that Registrar Kanneh and Finance Officer Abdul Kamara have been collecting fees on the table with little or no transparency.

Kanneh admitted that students have been paying to him through his secretary, but insisted that fees collected were paid into the college account, although he failed to show us proof of payments.

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