A cross section of blind students made rounds of angry protests in front of State
House yesterday to get President Koroma’s attention.
“We want our grievances to be heard by the president himself”, said Sallieu Turay who assumed the role of spokesman on behalf of his colleagues.
He told Awoko that the acting headmaster of the Blind School had not been paying their fees or giving them allowances for over a year now and that they understood that the Sierra Leone government had been making the money for their fees available to the headmaster.
Sallieu claimed that as soon as they graduated to secondary school level, the school administration refused to support them financially, though the government was providing financial support.
A student, who is currently studying at Fourah Bay College, said he was not receiving any help from the school and that this was the complaint by many other blind students from the Port Loko, Makeni and Milton Margai Colleges.
Sallieu Turay also alleged that Mr Albert Sandy, the Headteacher of Blind School, had been withholding many other facilities from them.
He pointed out that since he took over the administration of the school, students had not performed well in public examinations because the extra classes they used to get had been cut off by the administration because they say there was no money.
“Our blind sisters have been placed in boarding schools by previous administrations and this helped them greatly. They have performed well in their exams but now all of that facility has been stopped,” Salieu complained.
Another allegation levied against the school administrator was that some money was put aside for students after a cross section of them performed in musical festivals and tours in Britain.
They said, “we were promised 200 Pounds each out of that money but Mr Sandy only gave us 10 pounds which he converted to15 dollars so it will appear a lot to us. We are tired of this dishonesty by our principal and we want him to go.
The students also alleged that the headmaster closed the school gates to discourage other blind students from leaving the school to demonstrate.
They all agreed that, “Mr Sandy must go because he is not even a blind person”.
Sallieu hastened to state that they did not want to discriminate against the headmaster but that they felt that a blind leader would be more sensitive to their plight.
Unfortunately they were not able to see President Koroma who was not at State House but State House officials who addressed the blind students told them that they had contacted their headmaster on the phone.
The officials said Mr Sandy denied all the allegations levied against him but assured the students that they would make arrangements for an audience with the President.