Liberian Students In Morocco Demonstrate Against Home Gov’t For Lack Of Support

Some of the stranded Liberian students in Morocco (Credit: FPA)

Dozens of Liberian students who were sent to Morocco for study by the Liberian government today demonstrated at the Liberian embassy in Rabat expressing their frustration over the lack of support from the Liberian government, a situation the noted compelled to live in an unbearable state in that country.

The students with placards stormed the embassy early Wednesday demanding their Ambassador to prevail on President George Weah to see reason in coming to their aid, as their condition in that part of Africa is unbearable;

Photo credit: PFA

“It’s extremely sad that this government has been able to deceive the media. Firstly, government told us after media engagements that they will not pay two quarters anymore, but they can only afford one quarter. Now, we have been informed by the government that there’s no fund available. Therefore, it’s the tenth month now, and we have not received anything from them. Unfortunately, things continue to get worst on the students,” said John Saylay Singbae II, a student leader in Morocco.

Several efforts to verify this information with Mr Theohilus Snorton, Sr. did not materialize. However, a source at the Education Ministry said the Ministry is still waiting for the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning to disburse the fund to be sent overseas to the students. The Education Ministry has no control over the disbursement of the fund.

Scholarship Director Snorton told FrontPageAfrica on July 9, that the Ministry of Finance had promised to disburse a check for the two quarterly arrears the following day.

The Ministry of Finance and Development Planning, Director of Communications, Patience Senkpeni Kumeh did not answer or return calls for comment. Last week, she informed FPA that the payment was in progress.

This paper published on July 10 that some Liberian scholarship students studying in Morocco had reported on social media that that they are financially stranded and are suffering. They accused the Liberia Government of not sending their allowances after several pleads to the Ministries of Education and Finance.

When student leader Singbae spoke to this paper last week, he pointed out that there were students sent since 2013 and they are currently doing master’s program.

Seven students who performed extraordinary in the WASSCE exam, are among the students sent last November. Currently, there is a total number of 84 students on government’s scholarship in Morocco.

They are sent under a Memorandum of Understanding that government will pay them monthly allowances quarterly, until the completion of their studies, and upon their return to Liberia, they will serve in various government entities.

“As I speak to you, old students have been thrown out of their apartments and cannot even afford transportation to attend classes, or least I say pay bills. The new batch of 54 students, including the WASSCE dux cannot afford to start classes because they have no money to rent apartments, pay bills, transport themselves to school, purchase school materials or leave to the cities they have been assigned to study. We are experiencing sad times, and this is the hard truth,” Singbae II said.

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About Cholo Brooks 12831 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.