By Jonathan Hindolo Kurabu (D Catalyst)
Over 50 students of Njala University, Bo Campus, have been rusticated for engaging in various forms of examination malpractices during the First Semester Examinations.
Those rusticated and who are due to exit the University for one academic year were studying different disciplines in the Schools of Education, Community Health Sciences and School of Social Sciences and Law.
Also, two female students formally (FK Kamara-Final Year, B Sc. Nursing and FJ Mallah-Second Year-SRN Upgrading) were expelled from the University for taking part in an illegal admission syndicate.
The Campus Administration headed by Professor Mohamed Syed Fofanah has uncompromisingly waged war on all forms of examination malpractice.
The affected students were duly investigated consistent with principles of natural justices.
It could be recalled that in an effort to curb the menace of exam malpractices in both the Kowama and Towama locations of the Bo Campus last year, 84 students were rusticated for a period of one year for their involvement in various forms of exam malpractices.
Meanwhile, members of the Public including a retired medical practitioner, John Kortu have lauded the Njala University Administration for the bold move describing it as an effort towards complementing the strides of the President Bio led Government in promoting the ideals of Quality Education.
“Examination malpractices appear to be a celebrated norm in most educational institutions, the Universities need to set firm precedents to jettison these awful celebrated occurrences,” he opined.
In other developments, Students of Njala University have during a fruitful engagement with the University Administration over the week promised not to participate in the call for students’ protest over the rising cost of fuel and other basic food commodities.
That move came in the wake of a press release on social media by an anonymous person urging students to take to the streets illegally demanding reduction in pump prices of all fuel products and basic food commodities.
The Students Union President, Njala Campus, Mustapha G. Samah said his leadership will always strive to dialogue with the competent authorities in the interest of all adding that they themselves are aware of the present economic triggers which are being felt globally to which Sierra Leone is no exception.
He urged all and sundry not to meddle into acts that would undermine the peace of the country adding that students they are, students they shall be.
“We should not allow politicians to use us for their selfish gains, we ought to know better” President Samah asserted.
One of the female students, a final Year Student, pursuing a degree leading to an award of Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Media and Communications, Phibean Simbo appealed to the University administration amid the harsh economic realities to consider provision of electricity during the night hours unlike day time which accordingly would allow them to study and also urged them to look into the concerns of students resident in both male and female hostels in lieu of water and sanitation.
She, on behalf of colleague students, showered profuse gratitude on the Professor Andrew Baimba-led administration for being a listening administration amid his onerous functions as Acting Vice Chancellor and Principal.
Responding, the Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal, Professor Andrew Baimba thanked the students for being law abiding in the wake of difficult times caused by global factors.
He said in tandem with the leadership of the Njala Campus administration headed by Professor Mohamed Bashiru Koroma as Deputy Vice-Chancellor and the new Vice-Chancellor and Principal after his official exit in September 2022, they have been working tirelessly to ensure the smooth running of the respective campuses, Bo and Njala respectively.
He said amid the present economic toll, the Njala Campus administration is spending a colossal sum of 700 million Leones weekly for provision of electricity daily. This, he went on, is exacerbated by their provincial status on the basis of them not benefiting from the national grid. “Notwithstanding, we are in constant touch with Government of Sierra Leone to ameliorate these ailing concerns with the provision of water and electricity’’.
He admonished all to be studious and avoid being distracted by people for their political quests.
Deputy Vice Chancellor, Njala Campus, Professor Mohamed Bashiru Koroma thanked the students for being considerate noting that plans are underway with the availability of funds for the provision of Solar energy and provision of water wells on campus at strategic hostel locations.
He pledged on behalf of the administration to look into the concerns raised by the students and promised to make Njala campus a habitable learning environment to be.
Consistent with his commitments, electricity distribution on campus has now been adjusted from 8pm -12am nightly and 8 am -1pm daytime.