There have been widespread criticism and condemnation since the administration of the Ernest Bai Koroma University of Science and Technology in the Northern City of Makeni announced it has requested the service of officials at the Fourth Infantry Brigade in Makeni to invigilate its forthcoming examinations.

The information that military officers will be invigilating the Ernest Bai Koroma University of Science and Technology forthcoming examinations went viral a few days ago.

The examinations will commence on April 3rd and end on the 19th of April 2024. The University in a notice has requested fifty (50) military officers to invigilated the entire process.

In fact, a Facebook post from Edwin Momoh, the Deputy Vice Chancellor informed that the officers have had an orientation workshop with the University. The purpose of the orientation, according to the Facebook post, was for the University administration to provide direction to the military officers on how to go about invigilating the examinations.

This move by the University has been criticized in and outside Makeni.

Some Sierra Leoneans took to social media to question the move which they termed as unlawful more so when the army’s role is clearly defined in the 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone. Many are also asking whether there is a lack of trust between the  the University administrators and it academic staff.

According to Billy Kamara, a Human rights lawyer in Makeni,  Examinations are an integral part of a student’s academic evaluation, thereby assessing the student’s knowledge, understanding, and skills.

However, Kamara argued that the students have the right to take exams in a conducive, accommodating, and friendly atmosphere.

It’s not hidden that Examinations must be conducted in a conducive, accommodating, and
friendly atmosphere. When this is done, there’s the likelihood of higher student academic performance,” Billy Kamara noted.

Research, the Human Rights Lawyer stated has shown students who take exams in a conducive, accommodating, and friendly atmosphere are more engaged, motivated, focused, and relaxed and have a higher overall academic performance as opposed to those taking exams in a tense, unaccommodating, unfriendly and fearful atmosphere.

For Billy Kamara and many others, the idea of employing the military to investigate the exams will frighten many students and there’s no conducive atmosphere.

The 1991 Constitution of Sierra Leone makes the role and functions of the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces very clear.

And many are saying it is not the business of the military to inviligate examinations. There have been calls from the public for the University to reverse its decision.

I employ the EBKUST administrators, to revisit their stance and never create a novelty in the academic history of our great nation,” the Lawyer wrote.

Though the issue is currently the topic among members of the public, the university has not made a public statement about whether it will reverse or go ahead with the decision.