TU students demonstrating with placards Students of the Engineering Department at the Tubman University in Maryland County are demanding qualified instructional staff and other basic instructional materials.The students told this newspaper via mobile phone that unidentified Philipino professors in the department are not conversant with their subject matter, adding that they don’t understand their style of teaching.The students are demanding that the school’s administration either change the professors or they will not return to their classes.“We don’t understand anything from these professors and their way of teaching is quite different as if to say they do not even hold degrees,” they said.The students also complained of lack of adequate computers to do research.“The computer lab on the campus cannot even host 20 students,” they said. “We are paying fees for the computer labs, but we are not getting the type of services we should be getting.”When contacted via mobile phone, the President of Tubman University, Dr. Edward L. Wonkeryor, confirmed the protest and said the administration is negotiating with the students to bring the situation under control.He said the students are demanding for a new engineering building, more and new computers in the laboratory as well as more qualified instructional staff.He said their demand is in place, though not the proper manner because the school has a policy, which tells them how to address their grievances.Dr. Wonkeryor, who said he just returned from a trip abroad, said he received the students’ complaint on October 17.He explained that the Philipino professors in question were hired during the administration of his predecessor, Dr. Elizabeth Rusell, adding that their contract is yet to expire, which he said cannot be done unilaterally.“We are bringing in 40 pieces of brand new computers and are also in the process of bringing additional professors so I am calling on the students to remain peaceful,” he said.Meanwhile, Dr. Wonkeryor praised the professors for their tireless efforts in the education of Liberians, especially at the Tubman University, but cautioned Liberian educators to take the opportunity and apply for courses the foreign professors are teaching.The Maryland County Administration, headed by Superintendent Betsy T. Kuoh-Toe made several interventions to quiet down the students to return to classes, but sources said all the efforts have been fruitless.Efforts to get Supt. Toe could not be materialized.Dr. Wonkeryor took over from Dr. Elizabeth Russell last year and he said his relationship with the student leadership has been very cordial since he took over.He said due to last year’s budget shortfall, the school could not restore most of the facilities the students are demanding for.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
Will it be safe for athletes and officials to go to Delhi? The Delhi Police’s security blueprint for the Commonwealth Games is sure to quell fears raised by a spate of reports in the foreign media that suggested athletes from several countries are considering pulling out of the event, fearing for their safety.Paramilitary personnel guard the Thyagaraj stadium.In terms of manpower and planning, the Game security plan surpasses the arrangements during the Independence Day and Republic Day celebrations in the Capital. More than 80,000 Delhi Police personnel, 17,500 paramilitary personnel, 3,000 commandos, 100 anti-sabotage teams, over 200 dogs and 15 bomb disposal squads will work day and night to ensure the safety of the more than 10,000 athletes and one-lakh foreign visitors expected in the city during the event.If a medal is what the athletes will aim for, the biggest achievement for Delhi Police officers will be an incident-free Games. Athletes, officials, dignitaries and foreign heads of states arriving in the Capital will be covered by a four-tier security cordon from the moment they step out of the Indira Gandhi International Airport (IGIA).AIRPORT The parking lots around IGIA will be sanitised days before the Games and slots reserved for vehicles that will ferry athletes, officials and dignitaries to hotels.Each of these vehicles will be assigned an RFID (radio frequency identification tag) and their drivers issued with unique IDs. Anti-sabotage, commando and sniper teams will be deployed in and around the airport. A team of commandos will escort buses ferrying officials and athletes.advertisementBetween the airport and the Games Village, the Delhi Police will set up 15 posts. Armed guards stationed there will be ready to act in case of an eventuality.HOTELSCorridors and rooms of hotels that will host athletes and visitors will be sanitised and only verified hotel staff carrying ID cards provided by the Delhi Police will be allowed access. The hotels will have watch towers and access control. Even the food and water for athletes and officials will be first tasted by security personnel and food experts.VENUES The “impregnable security” plans of the Delhi Police get tested here. All persons except for state guests will get ‘park and ride’ facility at the first tier with only designated, pretagged vehicles allowed inside the outermost cordon manned by the traffic police.In the next cordon, spectators will be guided to their designated entry gates leading to seating galleries.The galleries will be under electronic surveillance with officers moving around in plainclothes.Snipers will be positioned on the rooftop of the stands.In the next cordon, security personnel will screen the barcode of tickets being carried by spectators, and keep photocopies of spectators’ ID and photos for record. VIP vehicles entering this zone will be checked for their special RFID tags and I-cards of the drivers verified. For the first time, licence plate scanners will be in use. There will be separate entry gates for athletes, Games officials, dignitaries and spectators.The entry gates where the RFID tags and vehicles will be checked will have boom barriers, tyre-killers and road blockers in place. In case any vehicle doesn’t comply with the mandatory RFID and other checks at the entry gates, all these gadgets will automatically activate.The exclusion zone, within 30m radius of the stadium, comes next. Here, even athletes will have to get off their vehicles and go through doorframe metal detectors, hand- held detectors and manual frisking. Baggage will be put through X-ray scanners.The X-ray scanners will have a memory back-up, saving images of 250 items last scanned.The zone will be CCTV-secured.Vehicle-mounted scanners called ‘mobile cargo container inspection equipment’ have also been hired to inspect cargo without opening containers. “This gadget can scan 20 containers in an hour,” a police officer said.GAMES VILLAGEThe Games village will have unprecedented security. “In fact, the steps beat the Parliamentary session arrangements in terms of checks and counterchecks put in place,” a police officer said. The place has a 3m-high perimeter wall with a 1.5m-high iron grill running over it. “But once inside athletes will feel free to move around,” the officer added.Only RFID-tagged vehicles driven by drivers with valid IDs will be allowed in. Tyre-busters and boom barriers will be installed at the entry gates. This apart, commandos, anti-sabotage teams and intelligence officials will be deployed in and around the complex.Each of the 574 vehicles assigned to ferry athletes to venues will undergo mechanical and anti-sabotage checks every morning.When athletes and officials staying at any of the nine designated hotels or Games Village venture outside the dedicated lanes, they will get a helicopter escort.advertisementOPEN EVENTSThe trickiest part of the security plan is to provide security for events such as marathon, cycling and walkathon, which passes through busy markets and residential areas. “We will not only put restrictions on movement of vehicles but even open telephone and electricity boxes and windows will be sealed for the duration of the event,” a police officer said. Snipers will be deployed along the route along with commandos.