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Education Minister disappoints students & Ambassador in China

Education Minister disappoints students & Ambassador in China

According to reports in China, the Minister of Education Dr Minkailu Bah (in photo) has refused to harmonize all students in China for them to benefit from government allowance.

The report says this has put the Ambassador in an embarrassed situation after he informed the students’ union on his arrival that when he was a member of cabinet the decision was taken that every student regardless where they got their scholarship from should benefit from the government because after the end of their studies they will return to serve the country.

The report states that the Ministry of Finance has already sent the monies for only students that the Minister of Education recognizes as Sierra Leoneans. Some students who contacted the Ministry of Finance were told that the list they received from the Education ministry is what they worked with so they have nothing to do.

It is reported that the Ambassador is fighting to see that the ‘alien’ students courtesy of minister of Education too benefit, so that is why the monies are yet to be distributed or signed for by the Embassy in China.

It would be recalled that since this government took over in 2007, the Minister of Education has refused to recognize students who received scholarship from their ministry as well as the Chinese Embassy and the minister has been referring to them as ‘illegal students’ or ‘aliens’.

President Koroma on two occasions visited China and the students union executive pleaded with him to see reason to make sure every Sierra Leone student in China benefited from the government and he positively gave his word that he will make sure that happened, but up till now his word is yet to come to pass.

Now that the cabinet took the decision for all students to benefit, the Minister of Education has flouted the cabinet order and did what he feels, says one student in Beijing.

President of SLAJ, Umaru Fofana, who was in China last year spoke with students and they pleaded with him to help them with this problem and he went back to Sierra Leone and did all he could but the minister never listened.

Before 2007, every student studying in China on scholarship whether through the Education ministry or the Chinese Embassy were all treated as one which helps the students union in China to be so successful, but some students are now envisaging the collapse of the union if after all the assurances they got from Sierra Leone and the Ambassador that the problem is over. Already some students are in shock to receive such information as the Embassy as well as the students union are keeping the information as top secret.

It is still not known whether the Ambassador will succeed in this battle with the Minister of Education.

Austin Thomas, China

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