Njala University is a reputable public university located in Moyamba District, Bo District, and Freetown City. It is the largest university in Sierra Leone and one of the best in the sub-region. University has an affiliation with the University of Illinois in the United States of America. Known as the center of Agricultural and scientific research, the university has produced some of the brightest minds in Sierra Leone like Dr. Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella, Dr. Julius Spencer, and Professor Monty Jones, to name but a few. The university was founded in 1964 was paired together with Fourah Bay College into the University of Sierra Leone act until its separation to go as an independent university in 2005.
The largest and main campus of Njala University is in Njala, Moyamba District; the other campus is Bo, the second-largest city in Sierra Leone. Life for students at the main campus in Moyamba District is tough and almost unbearable. A student at the university, Abu Bakarr Jalloh, founder of The African Dream once amplified his concerns on the media, lamenting the sad state of their wellbeing on campus.
It has been nearly two years since students had an effective functional and operable pipe-borne water system. Over 2,000 students are currently dwelling in the hostels without daily access to running tap water. Their only source of water is the Jack Body which was renovated by a local charity foundation. If it eventually defects, the students will be left with no option other than to hustle for water in unhealthy swamps, and water wells in neighboring communities.
The hostel services are hardly effective. Students who pay their financial entitlements to access a room with beddings cannot have one on time. They’ll have to patiently spend some nights on the floor without foam to make them comfortable, even when it is accustomed to having one.
Furthermore, the hostels lack proper toilet facilities. It was earlier submitted that accessibility to water is an inherent problem. Therefore, this phenomenon is relatable to the improper composition of the restrooms. It is a familiar experience to smell the stench and unfavorable fragrance of the restrooms if you eventually stumble into one. There is no running water in those facilities, so feces and filth are left openly at the mercy of human contact. Male students, especially, defecate in the nearby bushes due to the poor description of the toilet systems. Students pay Le 750,000 (US$75) for hostel accommodation every academic year but little is being done in the rehabilitation of these hostels over the years. Inside the dormitories, you’d see damages which range from faulty electric switches and lamp holders, damaged door locks, broken glass windows, and others. Even though it’s the responsibility of the university administration to fix those damages before the resumption of the academic year, students have to pay for the service of an electrician to amend faulty electrical connections in their rooms; most of the time they do it themselves.
Seating accommodation is another dire concern. There is always a scramble for seats whenever there is a potential massive lecture session. Some students would squat or stand for an hour or two in order to tend to lectures.
In summation, these are some of the problems students at Njala University, Njala Campus encounter on a daily basis. Interestingly, however, these are relatable problems faced by almost every student, in their respective learning institutions.
What is the university administration doing with all the monies incurred from fees and other miscellaneous? If we are to compete with the rest of the world, we have to treat education with all seriousness and respect.