Russian foreign policy / Russia - Liberia relations



MONROVIA, November 22 - Liberian Observer - The plight of some 21 Liberian students in Russia is becoming increasingly bitter as support from the Liberian Government has not been dispatched since the beginning of their scholarship in 2000.

The students, in their October 24, 2005 e-mail written by Joseph Garwor and his colleagues to the Daily Observer, lamented the deplorable conditions under which they are studying in Russia.

According to the students, they have communicated with the Ministry of Education and Chairman Bryant to look into their plight but to no avail. Through letters, they called on the Transitional Government to quickly come to their aid. "To put Liberia back on its footing will only require Liberians to sacrifice, not foreignes. Even if you get foreign professors and medical doctors, they will only help for a whole and will have to go back home, but Liberians are born here and will still be here all along," the letter added.

"With all the phone calls, we were always promised 'next week', or the Ministry isn't willing to sign the check for scholarships. How do they expect us to live and study?" the students wondered.

In an effort to establish the authenticity of the students' complaint, Education Observer called the Minister of Education, Dr.Evelyn Kandakai, on a mobile phone. She said the problem of Government not paying fees foe scholarship students at home and abroad was not a strange event to any Liberian, including the students in Russia.

"You can ask the Minister of Finance for their fees," Dr.Kandakai told our reporter. However, she said her Ministry had taken up the issue with the Ministry of Finance but every effort had so far proven futile.

United Methodist University (UMU) students that are on the Ministry's scholarships have also complained that the ministry has not made any payment of their fees. Other scholarship students from the University of Liberia and Cuttington University have also expressed their frustration with the government's failure to meet its scholarship obligations to them.

Meanwhile, the students in Russia say some of their colleagues that could not continue the program due to shortage of funds are languishing in that country, without air tickets to return home. They called on the Transitional Government to do something now.

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