We have not closed down Limkokwing University”
- Prof. Aiah Gbakima Says
The Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Professor Aiah Gbakima has informed the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone that the Limkokwing University has not been closed down by Government.
The Minister was speaking to Commissioners of the HRCSL on Monday February 10th at his office during an engagement where he disclosed that government was supporting the continuing students to end their various courses. The HRCSL was engaging the Minister on the right to education issues that has to do with the students of Limkokwing University and the right to education for persons with disability.
The Chairperson of HRCSL, Patricia Narsu Ndanema informed the Minister that through complaints and the Commission’s monitoring activities, they were engaging him on the Limkokwing issue as well as the complaints from the persons with disability not accessing higher education as enshrined in the Disability Act.
Professor Gbakima told the HRCSL that his ministry had informed the administration of the Limkokwing University to allow the students to register and to resume classes. “We have decided to engage them and have looked at the MOU and we agreed on a payment plan of five billion Leones monthly starting from August last year to now”. The Minister said.
Prof. Gbakima further reiterated that government will not cater for new students at the Limkokwing but will rather continue to cater for the continuing students until the completion of their courses. “We will continue to support the continuing students but not the new ones. We have told the university administration to allow the students to register and take classes. This is a government that is not running away”. He stressed.
The Minister made it known that the Limkokwing was a private institution that never went through cabinet and parliament but rather an MOU that was done between the former Education and them. He said government caters for about 1,200 students and pays $3,000 for degree programs and $2,500 for diploma courses.
Responding to the persons with disability not accessing higher education without payment, he said the Persons with Disability Act is clear about it that education is free for those categories of persons. “The Disability Act says that they should go to school free so there are no grants-in-aid for them. I have instructed the Permanent Secretary to write a letter to all institutions quoting the relevant sections and also attaching the disability Act”