Boost For Lecturers…. Ministry Disburses Le34B As Leave Allowance

By Ragan M. Conteh

The Minister of Tertiary Education, Professor Aiah Gbakima, has informed Members of the Oversight Committee on Tertiary and Higher Education in Parliament that his ministry has just disbursed over Le34 billion to Universities across the country as leave allowances.

He made the disclosure on Wednesday 19th August 2020 at Committee Room One in Parliament, Tower Hill in Freetown.

According to Professor Gbakima, the reason for the disbursement of this allowance is to reduce pressure on the ministry and to prevent lecturers and other staff of the colleges and universities from strike actions that will derail quality education, which is the flagship project of the New Direction Government.

On the status of the proposed Milton Margai College to become a University, he said he initially opposed the upgrading of polytechnics to University status in the country, but when President Bio made the statement on upgrading Universities, Milton Margai College was not part of his agenda and the President only mentioned the establishment of the Eastern Polytechnic and Kono University.

He said there are no funds for Milton Margai College and that the country is in dire economic situation, adding that, as it stands, the Ministry has a deficit of Le93 billion in Njala University and they cannot therefore cater for many Universities.

Professor said, as it stands, funds are only available for the Kono University, which will fetch $32 million, while government is sourcing funds for the Eastern Kenema University.

In his submission, the SLPP Member of Parliament, Hon. Dickson Rogers, informed that establishing a new University of Kono and upgrading Eastern Polytechnic to University status, leaving Milton Margai College that was established since 1963 is injustice to the Late Milton Margai who was named after the College.

Hon. Dickson Rogers said most of the students at Milton Margai College are from the provinces, adding that most of the existing universities lack accommodation for students, adding Milton Margai College has produced a lot of human resources in the country. He informed that 70% of members of the Parliamentary Oversight on Tertiary Committee in Parliament have gone through Milton Margai.

According to Hon. Rogers, upgrading Milton Margai College to University status will not take away from developing middleman power, adding that the best performing MPs in the current Parliament passed through the College, which shows that, if upgraded, it will help produce more sober middleman and strengthen the middleman power of the state.

“It is also political suicide for us if we leave Milton Margai College. MPs will not approve any University until Milton Margai College is incorporated to the status of a University,” he lamented.

However, Members of Parliament in the Committee, after lengthy discussions, resolved that both the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Tertiary Education Commission met to discuss on the incorporation of Milton Margai College to University status, while MPs expressed their unflinching support to ensure that the College became university.

By Ragan M. Conteh

The Minister of Tertiary Education, Professor Aiah Gbakima, has informed Members of the Oversight Committee on Tertiary and Higher Education in Parliament that his ministry has just disbursed over Le34 billion to Universities across the country as leave allowances.

He made the disclosure on Wednesday 19th August 2020 at Committee Room One in Parliament, Tower Hill in Freetown.

According to Professor Gbakima, the reason for the disbursement of this allowance is to reduce pressure on the ministry and to prevent lecturers and other staff of the colleges and universities from strike actions that will derail quality education, which is the flagship project of the New Direction Government.

On the status of the proposed Milton Margai College to become a University, he said he initially opposed the upgrading of polytechnics to University status in the country, but when President Bio made the statement on upgrading Universities, Milton Margai College was not part of his agenda and the President only mentioned the establishment of the Eastern Polytechnic and Kono University.

He said there are no funds for Milton Margai College and that the country is in dire economic situation, adding that, as it stands, the Ministry has a deficit of Le93 billion in Njala University and they cannot therefore cater for many Universities.

Professor said, as it stands, funds are only available for the Kono University, which will fetch $32 million, while government is sourcing funds for the Eastern Kenema University.

In his submission, the SLPP Member of Parliament, Hon. Dickson Rogers, informed that establishing a new University of Kono and upgrading Eastern Polytechnic to University status, leaving Milton Margai College that was established since 1963 is injustice to the Late Milton Margai who was named after the College.

Hon. Dickson Rogers said most of the students at Milton Margai College are from the provinces, adding that most of the existing universities lack accommodation for students, adding Milton Margai College has produced a lot of human resources in the country. He informed that 70% of members of the Parliamentary Oversight on Tertiary Committee in Parliament have gone through Milton Margai.

According to Hon. Rogers, upgrading Milton Margai College to University status will not take away from developing middleman power, adding that the best performing MPs in the current Parliament passed through the College, which shows that, if upgraded, it will help produce more sober middleman and strengthen the middleman power of the state.

“It is also political suicide for us if we leave Milton Margai College. MPs will not approve any University until Milton Margai College is incorporated to the status of a University,” he lamented.

However, Members of Parliament in the Committee, after lengthy discussions, resolved that both the Ministry of Tertiary Education and Tertiary Education Commission met to discuss on the incorporation of Milton Margai College to University status, while MPs expressed their unflinching support to ensure that the College became university.

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