Over 7,000 university students risk being put out of school if proposed reform in the Education Ministry’s scholarship scheme takes effect because they did not the required 3.0 grade point, Minister George Werner told protesting students at the ministry Friday.
The main entrance of the Ministry of Education was blocked by a group of aggrieved university students who peacefully protested against the reform. Minister Werner said students who are desirous of the ministry’s scholarship should be prepared to go through a vetting process by sitting a test. The Minister further said that the Government of Liberia through the Ministry of Education has observed that the scholarship has not been gender sensitive. “Right now, as it stands, if you have 10 students, there is only one woman on the scholarship. We must have a level playing field so that women can sit the test to show their own abilities as their male counterparts are doing. At the same time, Minister Werner used the occasion to rubbish claims that the ministry has deleted about 700 names from the MOE Scholarship list as was reported on some local radio stations. He noted that as Minister, he has not authorized anyone to delete names from the scholarship but advised the aggrieved students to go and outline their points of suggestions and communicate same to his office for consideration. Meanwhile, student Emmanuel Morris, head of the aggrieved students said they are not against the ministry’s policy and reform which includes gender balance, merit and transparency but the prerequisite which requires before a person reapplies, he or she must have an average of 3.0 with more than 18 credits hours without prior notice from the ministry as was done when the reform was pending.