Sierra Leone Students Set to Demonstrate in Russia
Sierra Leonean students in Russia have threatened to embark on a protest today 5th August 2022 at the Sierra Leone Embassy In Russia over the delay in the payment of their stipends and other allowances including return flight tickets for students who have already completed their courses.
The Secretary General of the National Union of Sierra Leonean Students in the Russian Federation Alhassan Bangura told Politice that they have not received their allowances since July 2021 for the 2020 academic year
“We are yet to receive allowances for the 2021 academic year. We are supposed to be receiving these allowances in September of every year, before the start of the Academic year as we have to pay for accommodations, medical insurance, visa renewal, books, internet, food, transportation, etc.,” he said. Speaking to Politico, Festus J. Lahai Press Attache at Sierra Leone’s Embassy in Moscow said that they are aware of their situation and that the government is working to address those concerns, saying that the situation is not limited to those in Russia but was the same for all Sierra Leonean students studying on scholarship abroad.
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He noted that the government had paid all the two years backlog which they met from 2017-19 at the time they had 60 students on saholarship.
He said they currently have 93 students plus 30 others that are set to them in Russia by the next academic year.
Lahai noted that part of the delay was due due to the fact that the government wanted to have a formidable database of all Sierra Leonean Students abroad so they can adequately informed about the number of funds needed every year.
” We are appealing to them that theybe patient as we put their documentation together to arrange how to disburse the cash. The data have already been collated and sent to to the foreign Ministry in Sierra Leone ,” he said
He added: ” I am very sure that pretty soon all their stipend issues will be addressed “. Sayiy that the protest will not send a good signal for prospective students.
He noted that the current Ambassador to Russia has made a special case for an additional 20 spaces for Sierra Leonean medical students at Peoples Friendship University of Russia.
He said they will Continue to engage the students while calling on them to be a little more patient.