“They Are Unreasonably Ungrateful” – Minister Sonii, Findley Described Liberian Students In Morocco
Appearing before the 54th House of Representatives yesterday on the current situation of Liberian scholarship students in the Kingdom of Morocco, the Minister of Education, Professor D. Ansu Sonii has described the unwholesome act of Liberian students in that part of the world as ‘unreasonably ungrateful.’
The appearance of the Minister of Education, Finance and Development Planning and Foreign Affairs to discuss several issues raised by Grand Bassa County District#5 Representative Thomas Goshua on the alleged ill-treatment of students who are undergoing studies on a bilateral scholarship in the Kingdom Morocco.
In its 51st day sitting, Prof. Sonii said among the over eighty-six (86) students undergoing studies on a bilateral scholarship in the Kingdom of Morocco, twenty-three (23) of them are considered the troublesome students who have exceeded the timeline for their studies and did not pass their exams.
Prof. Sonii said the twenty-three students were written to return to Liberia because they have failed on the scholarship program timeline but disclosed also that some of the students have more than ten (10) years studying to obtain bachelor degrees in various disciplines when the scholarship timeline talks about five years.
He said the government has provided rental arrears for students up to November so it was impossible for Liberian students to be demanding that they have not gotten rental and other benefits when they are being pay US$150 after every two months by the Moroccan government.
Minister Sonii said not only the rental but government of Liberia also bought the students fifty-four mattresses and the committed that students were going to receive US$350.00 for their allowances and other expenses. He said the US$350.00 was not the original amount that was being given them, they were initially receiving US$75.00 monthly.
According to Prof Sonii, the essence of purchasing all of their materials was that immediately after the first-year study, the students will be moved to various universities in other cities in Morocco, adding that though the government of Liberia did not meet the timeline for the disbursement of the students’ allowances, they were still receiving the US$75 per month allowance given by government of the Kingdom of Morocco.
He further noted that in May this year the Ministry of Finance and Development Planning was able to disburse US$350 to US$400 to each student who qualified for the scholarship so it beats his imagination that students will be protesting for benefits.
The Minister said the over twenty students who have failed two semesters and were written to return to Liberia are the ones who are causing all of the problems in Morocco and is embarrassing the government but noted that the Kingdom of Morocco has again given the Government of Liberia fifty-four additional scholarship but they are afraid to send Liberians there because of the recent embarrassment.
For his part, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Gberzongar M. Findley clarified that information pertaining to the non-payment of students in the Kingdom of Morocco scholarship benefits is misleading but disclosed that eleven out of the fifty-four student undergoing studies in that country did not pass their exams and as such they could not receive any month allowance.
Minister Findley disclosed that those students who were protesting are students that exceeded ten years and were recalled by the government and that the Liberian Government could not continue spending money on them.
Several lawmakers during the discussion recommended that the two ministries work together to put mechanisms in place so Liberian students undergoing studies abroad will not escape after their studies and return to Liberia to serve their country.
Meanwhile, Minister Sonii has warned that anyone collecting extra fees from parents who are sending their children to government schools order then the stipulated amount by the government is criminal and the public should help report them so that actions can be taken against them.
Speaking on the collection of money from public school student for the construction of dwelling places for instructors, DEOs or anyone should stop, adding that any money payment must be done according to the government regulations