Public Relation Officer (PRO) in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Brima Michael Turay, has told Concord Times that the ministry would only pay fees subsidy for students at Fourah Bay College (FBC) after the administration would have provided receipts of payment by students.
He stated that the government used to give subvention to higher institutions after the administrations calculated expected students’ fees, with subventions filling the gap in the running cost of tertiary institutions.
He said in 2013 tertiary institutions in the country, including Fourah Bay College, reached an agreement with government, adding that they were asked to determine tuition charges for individual students while government agreed to provide 70% of the charges, but only after students pay the remaining 30 percent.
Turay insisted that the government would pay the fees subsidy only after students have paid their fees, and authentic receipts from the bank sent to the ministry, adding that the ministry would then forward them to the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development for the fast track payment of subvention to the college administration.
“This used to be our usual agreement with the administration, but if students fail to pay their fees, there is no need for government to pay fees subsidy to the administration,” Turay reiterated.
Meanwhile, following spontaneous protests by FBC students both last week and on Monday, triggered by the decision of the administration to send students out of classes for non-payment of fees and failure to register, a high level meeting of university administrators, students representatives and officials from the Ministry of Education yesterday met with President Ernest Bai Koroma at State House yesterday.
The meeting concluded that that lectures should remain suspended to allow students to registration until 1 April, but only students who have paid 50 percent of their tuition fees would be allowed to register.
The meeting also agreed that rehabilitation work at the college would be expedited, while efforts would be made to restore students’ union government.