The new dispensation in the country seems to be using the foreign students grant as a political weapon against students that are non supporters of the present regime.
Dozens of students who were successful in getting scholarships through the Embassy of China in the last two years were deliberately excluded from receiving students grant by the Minister of Education who told the Students Union of Sierra Leone in China that he doesn’t know about them.
According to reports from China, the former Minister of Education Dr Alpha Wurie has been making sure that every student regardless of party affiliation, tribe, and region or whether the scholarship was from the Chinese Embassy, receives the grant.
But as the new attitudinal change has been launched, students who are ‘Sierra Leonean Chinese’ that do not support the ruling party and also do not come from the North have been excluded from the grant.
Dozens of students who are studying in various fields from undergraduate to PhD who are struggling with their studies and who the nation are looking forward to in helping with the developmental process in the country have now been abandoned because of politics.
This has caused disgruntlement within students who are expected to be proud of their country. They are now so angry as they are the only African students that are being treated by their own government as aliens just because of politics.
Every year the Chinese government award scholarships to Sierra Leoneans through the Ministry of Education and few directly from the Embassy.
This is the trend all over Africa and the former Minister of Education never complained and was very happy to help all the students because they are all Sierra Leoneans that would be of great benefit to the nation.
But since the inception of attitudinal change, some students now need to get APC membership, or carry Northern names before they would be awarded the students grant.
By Austin Thomas just from China