By: Ilyasa Baa

The Director of Communications at the University of Sierra Leone, James Tamba Lebbie, has stated that the College of Medicine and Allied Sciences (CoMAS) is leading in the implementation of the University Senate’s approved policy, which dictates that students with more than two references should not progress to the second year unless they clear their references. This policy, introduced in March 2022, aims to enhance quality assurance and control student population.

Lebbie emphasized that COMAHS has actively enforced this policy, ensuring that students clear their references before advancing. On the other hand, Fourah Bay College (FBC) and IPAM are yet to fully implement the policy, with FBC only starting its enforcement in the current academic year. This delay is causing frustration among weaker students who are struggling to clear their references.

Lebbie justified the university’s commitment to maintaining high standards and the need to remove students who hinder the system, allowing more serious and capable students to excel. He clarified that the university would take action only if students fail to pass a module after a resit. Lebbie urged students to prioritize their studies, noting that some are neglecting classes in favor of leisure activities. He emphasized that the policy aims to produce high-quality graduates and address the disparity between the number of students applying and the available spaces.

However, Sheku Putka Kamara, a Lecturer and Social Commentator, disagrees with the university’s decision. In an extensive piece published in Expo Times Newspaper, Kamara argued that the policy questions the right to education, particularly for weaker students. While acknowledging the existence of weaker students, he expressed concern that the decision may be depriving students of their right to education. Kamara clarified that recognizing the existence of weaker students does not imply creating room for failure, emphasizing the need for a balanced and inclusive approach to education.



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