By Juliana Vandy: Strategic Communications Unit, Ministry of Information and Communications
The Honourable Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, has on Friday 13th November, 2020 pledged government’s commitment towards addressing the various concerns raised by the administration and students of Njala University.
He made the commitment during a visit to the University in response to a clarion call from the administration contained in a letter addressed to His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio highlighting concerns they said are responsible for the current impasse beseting the institution.
Vice President Dr Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh visited all the campuses housing the various components of Njala University – Mokonde, Towama and Kowama in Bo and Moyamba districts.
While at Mokonde, the Honourable Vice President sympathized with students who suffered from the recent inferno there.
During his meeting with students at Mokonde campus, Dr. Juldeh Jalloh said his visit was two folds: to assess the campuses and to hold a meeting with the University administration.
Addressing the students, he described his government as a pro-education administration, adding that this is the first time in the history of Sierra Leone a government has committed 22% of its budget to education.
According to him, not all the problems plaguing Njala University and other higher institutions can be solved instantly, but need progressive long term interventions to be addressed.
He assured that Njala being the centre of gravitity for this administration government will ensure that it is not left out when support is being given to higher and technical Institutions.
He added that his visit is a clear demonstration of government’s commitment to improving the University as feasibility studies on Sustainable Power Generation for the University will soon be complete.
He however noted that the electricity is not going to be free but for an affordable cost.
The Vice President registered government’s sympathy to students who suffered loss from the recent fire incident on the campus.
After a lengthy guided tour of the agriculture nursery and the electricity and water sites, a meeting with the University’s administration was held at the Towama campus in Bo.
According to the Honourable Vice President, concerns mentioned in the letter addressed to H.E President Bio range from governance issues, staff welfare, lack of improved teaching and learning environment to liabilities of the University.
He disclosed government’s plan to establish an Education Development Fund through which infrastructural facilities needed in universities and colleges will be provided.
He urged all to rather engage in dialogue to settle any impasse than resort to campus unrest or industrial actions.
The Vice President was accompanied by a host of government officials including the Ministers of Information and Communications and Internal Affairs respectively.