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Acting Vice-Chancellor calls for review of 2005 Act

…As 1,079 students graduate from USL

April 18, 2016 By Patrick Jaiah Kamara

The Acting Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sierra Leone, Professor Ekundayo J.D. Thompson, has called on the government to initiate a swift review of the University Act of 2005, to enable them respond robustly to acts of indiscipline by students.

Professor Thompson was speaking Saturday, 16 April, to the congregation for the conferment of degrees and other certificates for the 2013/2014 academic year at the newly refurbished Adjai Crowther Amphitheatre on Fourah Bay College campus.

“The need therefore to review disciplinary procedures without compromising the rights of offenders is urgent. We call for a review of the University Act of 2005 which is seen by many as inadequate for times like these at the University of Sierra Leone. In times like these the university must respond robustly to acts of indiscipline,” he said.

He said since the promulgation of the University Act, a lot of lessons have been learnt and experiences generated should inform the review process, adding that proposals for review of the Act should take into account the need for ‘quality, efficiency, and faculty renewal’.

Professor Thompson pegged decline in quality education to examination malpractices, which he conceded was a national problem that requires concerted effort to address.

He said university authorities have already identified the actors of examinations malpractices and that they were hanging heads on strategies to effectively manage examinations with a view to maintaining a high level of integrity.

He revealed that the University of Sierra Leone would henceforth be conducting entrance examination in three subjects – Mathematics, English and General Paper – for all candidates who apply for admission into any of the constituent colleges.

On the issue of students union government, which has not been in existence for the past four years apparently because of widespread students violence, the university don said his administration have devised innovative ways of engaging students and enlisting their participation in the process of governing themselves, with key attention on the principles of good governance.

 “Students have been given the green light to organise themselves to elect faculty representatives with whom the administration will be in dialogue to address and solve issues of students welfare and related matters,” he said.

Recently, during two weeks of industrial action by the Academic Staff Association of Fourah Bay College (FBC) for backlog salaries, presidents of various departments elected an interim students union body, but the FBC administration refused to recognise the body at the last minute.

Distribution of certificates to the one thousand plus students climaxed the colourful ceremony, which was followed by jollification by the new graduates, their parents, relatives and well-wishers.

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