According to a dispatch, the Liberian leader gave the assurance on November 17 in Marrakech, Morocco when she met a cross-section of students who presented a progress report regarding their educational sojourn - outlining progress and challenges.
The students said they wanted President Sirleaf to get a better appreciation of the conditions the face.
Elated by the incredible disciplines of Liberian students in Morocco that are enrolled at various universities and colleges pursuing graduate studies, President Sirleaf expressed delight over such commitment of human capital development which, she said, remains strategic to the country’s overall development process.
The Liberian leader urged those who have completed their studies to return home and contribute to the process of nation-building. She said their concerns will be looked into as soon as she gets back to Monrovia because, according to her, she does not understand why their allowances are delayed, adding, “It is an embarrassment to you and to us. When I get back, we will look into your concerns and something will be done about it.”
President Sirleaf informed the students that the Minister of Education will meet all the students studying in Morocco in an effort to have an impartial understanding of what is obtaining in Morocco with respect to students’ enrolment and conditions, among others.
She regretted the country’s prolonged dependence on the extractive industries and informed them of Government’s efforts to diversify the economy. Line ministers in her delegation gave an overview of the key activities taking place in their sectors.
President Sirleaf told the Liberians students that there are four students who are not performing in their academic works and as such those students need to return home because Government cannot be spending money on students who are not performing.
Presenting the students, Liberia’s Ambassador to Morocco, Edwin F. Selle thanked President Sirleaf for increasing the allowance per month from U$75 to US$400 for undergraduate and US$450 for graduate programs under her administration. “Thank you, Madam President for making Liberia proud once again”, he said.
Speaking on behalf of the students, Cyrene S. Williams, President of the Liberian students in Morocco commended President Sirleaf for giving them the opportunity to study in a foreign land, something she said is “remarkable”.
She, however, appealed to President Sirleaf on behalf of her colleagues to among other things solve the problems they encountered over the last few months in getting their allowances on time to enable them meet up with their various academic and personal obligations.
According to Ms. Williams, the challenges faced include delay in receiving allowances, lack of health insurance as well as the plight of the Students’ Coordinator in Morocco, Mr. Momo Sheriff.
Meanwhile, a recent graduate in urbanization in person of Nketsia George Williams – who hails from West Point, presented a copy of his thesis written in French to President Sirleaf. President Sirleaf received it, congratulated him and described it as a visionary piece that we must translate and use to improve our society.
A delegation of 10 students out of the total of 64 student, headed by Cyrene S. Williams met president Sirleaf. The meeting was attended by Foreign Minister Marjon Kamara, Finance Minister Boima Kamara, and Liberia’s Ambassador to Morocco Edwin F. Sele, among others.