Government Inaugurates Eastern Technical University

Posted By: Sahr Sewa ⇒  Posted Date: 10/25/2021


 

Government Inaugurates Eastern Technical University of Sierra Leone

The Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL), through the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education (MTHE) and Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), has inaugurated the University Court of Eastern Technical University of Sierra Leone and handed to them a certificate of registration at their main campus in Kenema. The event took place on the 23rd October, 2021.

The inauguration ceremony is an offshoot of the enactment of the Universities Act of 2021, which has replaced the Universities Act of 2005, making provision for the establishment of Eastern Technical University, Milton Margai Technical University and Kono University of Science Technology, as well as the continuation of University of Sierra Leone, Njala University, and Ernest Bai Koroma University of Science and Technology.

In his keynote address, the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, H.E. Rtd. Brig. Dr. Julius Maada Bio, referenced his manifesto commitment to establishing a Ministry of Technical and Higher Education that superintends tertiary and technical education in the country as well as establishing a university system that employs its own leadership as Chancellors, noting that it is a promise he has delivered on. He pointed out that he will henceforth be a "Visitor" to the universities, with no desire to intervene in their general governance. He assured members present of his support to the institutions in developing and producing the highest quality of graduates needed for sustainable and inclusive national growth. "...this University has evolved from humble beginnings, but even then, it was always defined by its impactful partnership with the community and its immense service to the nation as a whole," he applauded Eastern Technical University. In proffering his views on key areas of the mandate of the court of the nascent technical universities, he admonished the court to ensure that its governance framework is consistent with best practice, define what the University stands for as it develops its strategic identity, expand its resource mix and not rely solely on government funding, and guarantee the pursuance of the vision and mission of the University by senior administrative staff. "The Court and Senior Administrative Team should be able to evaluate the effectiveness of the governance framework of the University and how well it is delivering its strategic mandate. This should be a University with difference," he said.

The Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Prof. Alpha Tejan Wurie, noted that academia has no region, party or color, and it takes a President who transcends ethno-regional tendencies to ensure that every region in Sierra Leone is provided with at least a university. "I want you to know that the East has been known as the bastion of teacher education through Bunumbu College. I will not want the University to forget its root. Your agricultural esteem must stay high and focused," he admonished the University Administration. According to Prof. Wurie, the reality of Africa is that it is moving towards quality education in multimedia issues, and therefore, institutions should now be talking about big data and artificial intelligence. He urged the University Administration to create the enabling environment for students to be self-confident. "The objective of every university is to provide the appropriate manpower needs, consistent with the overall socio-economic aims and aspirations of a nation...when people leave this University, they should be able to merge with the requirements of the job market," he said. He pointed out that even after giving an award (Certificate, Diploma or Degree) to a student, the University still has the right to withdraw such award if the student is not seen as carrying the tenets of the University. In presenting the new Chancellor of Eastern Technical University of Sierra Leone (Dr. Julius Sandy) to President Bio, Prof. Wurie commended the President for appointing a Sierra Leonean with sound academic background and a proven record of high moral rectitude and integrity to serve as Chancellor.

The Chairman of the Conference of Vice Chancellors and Principals (CVCP), Prof. Edwin J.J. Momoh, expressed gratitude in being selected to chair the event, commending President Bio for choosing "human capital development" as the first cluster of the Medium Term National Development Plan (MTNDP) in which "strengthening higher and tertiary education" is one of the strategies, adding that it will increased access to quality higher and technical education to enable graduates engage in meaningful and productive economic activity. He envisioned that the inauguration of the Eastern Technical University shall play a vital role in the human resource development of the country by creating skilled manpower, enhancing industrial productivity and improving quality of life. He acknowledged the role of the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education and Tertiary Education Commission, as well as the resilience of all stakeholders in the process leading to the inauguration.

The Vice Chancellor and Principal (Designate) of Eastern Technical University, Prof. Mohamed Konneh, noted that the event marks a milestone in the history of the institution, having successfully served the people of their community and the country at large. He expressed delight over their status as a university, but noting that they cannot ignore the challenges that usually come with a university status. He appealed to President Bio for his continual financial, logistic and moral support, expressing gratitude to the founding fathers of the institution for their inputs. He mentioned his views regarding the "four Ds" to enhance institutional effectiveness, vis-à-vis desire to act, determination, dedication, and discipline.

According to the Chairman of Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), Prof. Aliyagreen Alghali, TEC (in accordance with its mandate) received application from the Eastern Polytechnic for upgrading to a technical university, and on receipt of the application, the Commission assembled four separate teams of experts to assess the proposal. The teams examined the following: 

  • Governance and administrative architecture
  • Facility and infrastructure for teaching, learning and research
  • Programmes and courses in terms of contents, structures and learning outcomes and
  • Staff in terms of quality, quantity, and mix

He pointed out that the teams worked assiduously in the review of the proposals, made visits to the respective campuses of the institution and held interactive discussions with the management and other key staff members. He continued that the findings and recommendations were submitted to the Commission's Secretariat for consideration, adding that a comprehensive analysis of the outcomes of the various assessments informed TEC's determination. Prof. Alghali conveyed his humility to be part of such a remarkable event, noting that technical universities are a new phenomenon in the country's higher education landscape, with huge potential to advance skills development in the technical and vocational sector and give it the much needed improved status as compared to the conventional universities. He mentioned TEC's responsibility, among others, to advise the Government and other stakeholders on tertiary education matters in ensuring parity of esteem and quality among similar institutions.

The inauguration ceremony was climaxed with decoration of the new Chancellor of Eastern Technical University (Dr. Julius Sandy) by H.E. President Bio, handing over of certificate of registration by Tertiary Education Commission to the University, and unveiling of the University logo. 

 

 

  • Ministry of Technical and Higher Education, New England Ville, Freetown, Sierra Leone
  • + 232 (74) 210044 / (99) 542498
  • + 232 (74) 210044 / (99) 542498
  • info@mthe.gov.sl

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