SLPP Govt to introduce Student Loan and Depoliticise Universities
President Bio has reiterated his campaign promise to depoliticise higher learning in Sierra Leone. He also pledged to introduce a merit-based student loan in all universities in the country.
Speaking at the graduation ceremony of Njala Univerisity on Saturday 8th June, 2018, at the Bo Stadium, he said the students’ loan scheme that will provide loan to deserving students in line with his vision to increase access to education across the country as well as soar the level of competition among students from all levels of learning.”
He went on that “In addition to the Grants-In-Aid
Scheme, my government will introduce a Students’ Loan Scheme which will provide loans to deserving students to access higher education. My government has therefore committed budgetary allocation to education to a minimum of 20% of the national budget. This is to demonstrate our commitment to education and to put education at the center of development in Sierra Leone today.”
According to State House Press Release, ” President Bio also reiterated his manifesto commitment to depoliticize institutions of higher learning. He said that institutions of higher learning must be left to act independently devoid of political interference which will help to improve on performance and increase service delivery in educational institutions.”
The President however frowned at politicising higher institutions of learning and bemoaned that “I am here today as the Chancellor of the Universities because I want to live within the ambits of the law as prescribed by the Universities Act of 2005. However, effective 2019 as I said before, as President, I will cease to be the Chancellor of the Universities in order to depoliticize the Universities. In the coming months, the Universities Act of 2005 will be reviewed to reflect this change.”
President Bio also said that the nation cannot achieve quality education if it is oversubscribed on admissions to different Institutions of Higher Learning and therefore urged all institutions to admit only the number of students for which they are well resourced and capacitated to adequately support. “It is unacceptable to have university students sit o_d all institutions to admit only the number of students for which they are well resourced and capacitated to adequately support. “It is unacceptable to have university students sit on the floor during lectures and during examinations. It is also a human rights violation,” President Bio warned.