By Ndey Sowe
Students of the University of The Gambia s will on Friday hold a peaceful protest at the University on the mantra “Enough is Enough.”
The protest was agreed by the Students’ Union of the University and all sub-associations following the ongoing controversy between the Government of the Gambia, the Governing Council of the University and the Faculty and Staff Association of the University.
The students want to express their dissatisfaction with the developments currently unfolding at the University.
The idea of the demonstration came following an emergency meeting between the UTG Students’ Union and the sub-associations within the University schools and faculties. It was agreed that on Friday, 17th September 2021 at 9 am, there will be a mass students’ demonstration.
The students have identified dozens of demands which are directly affecting their academic lives, including a demand for the reduction of tuition fees, a demand for the provision of student’s’ buses and expulsion of underperforming lecturers.
“For concrete ultimatums, it was also resolved that all students should withhold their tuition fees, boycott all lectures and close down UTG until our demands are met,” a statement from the communication unit of the UTGSU Peaceful Protest Team said.
“Enough is enough: we are tired of being victims. Let’s end this together,” the statement concluded.
The UTG Inter-School Alliance for Change also calls for students’ solidary. The Alliance for Change is a body for students with like-minded view on how students’ welfare could be improved at the University of the Gambia.
“Team Alliance call for calm, peace and a high sense of dedication and commitment to join our leaders on Friday as we take the streets to make our voices heard in the most seldom way,” Team Alliance of the UTG said.
The press releases from the Alliance for Change indicated that in moments of struggle and strive for betterment; the call for solidarity is the only substantial call. They said the University of The Gambia has been the most neglected and underprivileged institution in the country. The release stated that the University of The Gambia and her students have been enduring a lot of challenges over the years in the form of academic unfairness, management-staff brouhaha and many more troubles.
“Now that we dialled a clarion call to unite all students together to end this unfair and unjust treatment on us, we should do nothing than to put our differences aside and see the bigger picture, which is the UTG,” the release stated.
The Law Students’ Association, also a sub-association under the UTGSU issued a press release in support of the protest.
“It has been happening for quite a long time, students have been massively affected by the systematic failure of the institution that should protect them. Students have had enough of the hullabaloo that appears to be well calculated in protection of individual interests. Unprofessionalism has been depicted at its apex,” the release from the LSA stated.
The release stated that all negotiation channels used by the students to protect and safeguard the interests of the students at large, but the people at the helm of affairs (Governing Council, Staff, Gambia Government and other relevant stakeholders) have demonstrated lack of interest. On this basis, the Association joined its sister association to embark on the protest.