During a press conference held in Freetown by the Fourah Bay College Students’ Union (FBC SU) yesterday the president, Abdul Kargbo, informed journalists about some of the constraints they were facing particularly with regards to accommodation fees.
Abdul Kargbo said in the past accommodation was included in the Sierra Leone Granting Aid (SLG) but now all students should pay for accommodation at the rate of Le350,000 for old students and Le500,000 for freshmen without exemption.
The SU president further disclosed that due to this development lots of students were not residing on campus “because they cannot afford to pay accommodation fees. Out of a total of about 250,000 students there are less than 100 students on campus.”
He went on, “we have several discussions with the Education ministry though not with the minister himself as we were prevented from seeing him personally and the people we talked to told us that indeed the ministry had huge debts to pay. “
“Before any increment was made in the past we were informed of it earlier but nothing of the sort was said to us before we left for vacation it was only on our return that we were told that we should pay for our lodging,” he said.
The minister of Education in the FBC SU, Mohamed Magazeba who was the chairman of the conference, said previously students with SLG did not pay a cent for registration but now they had been asked to pay two hundred and twelve thousand Leones.
On the ongoing strike by the Academic Staff Association (ASA) the Education minister disclosed that, “the ministry should also look into the conditions of services of lecturers. The strike is causing a lot of problems because without salaries they will not render their services.”