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As they cancel entrance exams for an unexplained reason…

USL blasted

November 1, 2016 By Joseph S. Margai

Authorities of the University of Sierra Leone (USL) have been charged as being inconsistent in decision making, as they have ‘abruptly’ cancelled the proposed entrance examinations for an unexplained reason.

It could be recalled that the University of Sierra Leone, early this year, decided to introduce entrance examinations for all students wishing to study in its three constituent’s colleges, including Fourah Bay College (FBC), Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM) and the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS). The intention, according to the university, was to attract quality and efficient students. The said examinations were scheduled to take place come November 19th, 2016.

But the Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the University, Munda Rogers, disclosed to Concord Times that the proposed entrance exams have been cancelled, although he could not explain any reason for the cancelation.

“We have put out a public notice last week, notifying the general public that the proposed entrance examinations would not hold,” he told Concord Times in a telephone interview.

However, Festus Cooper, a civil servant, charged that it was a slap in the face of the USL authorities to have cancelled the much-trumpeted exams in the wake of the commencement of the new academic year.

“When the USL authorities started talking about the exams some months ago, something bad rang through my mind about the large number of students passing the West African Examinations Council’s (WAEC) exams. If the entrance exams would have taken place as proposed, many people would have discredited WAEC for malpractices. If a student passes all the WAEC exams and fails the entrance exams at USL, it would have portrayed a very bad image of WAEC,” he said.

He called on the authorities of USL to explain the rationale behind the cancellation of the exams.

Also, Alhaji Sulaiman Jalloh, a teacher, told Concord Times that cancellation of the proposed entrance exams proved that the USL authorities took hasty decision without prior consideration, adding that whatever reasons they might have advanced; they have already deceived the people of Sierra Leone.

“Most of the graduates from USL cannot articulate very well in public. Some in the teaching field could not live up to their expectations. We were happy to have heard about the entrance exams, but the news that they have canceled the entire exams, was not good for us,” he said.

Even though the USL PRO did not advance reasons as to why the proposed entrance examinations were cancelled, sources very close to the University intimated Concord Times that it was the Minister of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) that called for its cancellation.

However, Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Education Science and Technology, Brima Michael Turay, dissociated the Minister and the Ministry from the said decision.

“I don’t know why the proposed entrance exams were cancelled and I don’t think why the Minister would request for its cancellation. It was not the Minister that called for the cancelation of the exams, but the University authorities. They were trumpeting the entrance exams all over the place and if they have cancelled it, they should also come out to the public and explain why they did so,” he said.

He added that it was solely the university’s decision to introduce entrance exams, and that the Ministry was not a party to that decision, adding  that the Minister of Education would only intervene in the decisions of USL when the authorities go beyond what was expected of them.

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