Founded May 5, 1999, SIMT is one of the higher institutions of learning that offer different career disciplines at both Associate and Bachelor’s levels with Health Science being core of the institution’s operation.
According to information gathered by the Independent Authority Heritage Newspaper, which was further confirmed by the Administration of Smythe, Institute, the instructors surreptitiously created separate accounts from the school’s main account and made students to pay registration fees and tuitions into them.
Speaking in an exclusive interview with this paper on Thursday, December 2, 2021, the acting President of SIMT, Boyd W. Johnson, disclosed that those instructors involved have been indefinitely suspended and turned over to the Liberia National Police (LNP) for investigation.
“The issue as mentioned by you about the fraud by some of our instructors is true. After discovering that these instructors were involved into such fraudulent act we immediately suspended them and reported the matter to the police,” said Mr. Johnson.
He believes that the action taken by administration would help to restore public confidence maintain the dignity of the institution.
The Smythe Institute President named the four main suspects as Adam Zoegar, Joseph Neyor, Benjamin Kortee and Albert McGill.
However, this paper has also reliably gathered that one of the suspects; Joseph Neyor, during police investigation, admitted to the commission of the act and has named two additional instructors, even though their names have not been mentioned by any of the affected students.
Mr. Johnson pointed out that with the revelations by the accused, some other names might likely pop up with their files turned over to the police for investigation purpose.
Asked about the fate of the affected students, the SIMT boss indicated that the students will be made to bear some of the consequences, even though there will be a special dispensation wherein they (students) will now only pay 50 percent of the tuition and the registration fees.
With the issue of fraud not being unique to Smythe, he noted that everyone ought to be mindful and act in accordance with the specially laid down procedures by the school’s authorities when it comes to the payments of tuition and other fees.
“The students themselves are also to be blamed. We have announced to them over and over that no instructor has a ward at this school. We placed this information on all of the bulletin boards; yet, they still didn’t listen to us and went on to pay money into instructors’ accounts. In fact, the procedure, for the payment of all fees, is clearly explained in the handbook,” the SIMT head administrator intoned.
Mr. Johnson revealed that the alleged act by the instructors has caused the institution to lose nearly US$80,000 and has impeded the entire operation of the school.
“Because of this, we have not been able to pay our teachers. This incident has gravely affected our entire operation.”
In a related development, Smythe Institute has denied report that the school has charged US$565.00 as graduation fees.
Document in the possession of this paper puts the total cost of all activities for the ensuing graduation slated for December 17, 2021 at the whooping sum of US$565.00; however, Johnson explained that the official fee for graduation is US$250.00 plus US$20.00 for gown rental.
According to him, all other fees apart from the graduation and gown rental, were agreed by the students themselves at a meeting and that the administration has no share of said fund.
“The only authorized fee that is going to be paid is US$250.00. Of this amount, US$225.00 will be paid into the school’s account and US$25.00 to the cashier on campus. The gown rental fee is just US$20.00 and will be paid to the cashier as well,” Johnson clarified.
“But there are other fees that they, as students, agreed to pay and that goes directly into the account of the students’ leadership; administration has nothing to do with that, because we have no share in that. For instance, they have a package fee of US$235.00 and an additional US$60.00 for tea party – all of these monies are squarely to be paid to the account of their leadership,” Johnson among other things asserted.