Government Officially Declares Freetown Polytechnic

Posted By: Sahr Sewa ⇒  Posted Date: 11/8/2021


 

Government Officially Declares Freetown Polytechnic

The Government of Sierra Leone has officially merged  Freetown Teachers' College (FTC) and Government Technical Institute in Kissi (GTI-Kissi), declaring them "Freetown Polytechnic" with a view to providing professional teacher education, skills training support and capacity for the job market.

In his keynote address, the Vice President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh, expressed delight in making a statement on such an auspicious event which marks the transformation of the two institutions into a polytechnic. He said that the forward-looking transition is a vivid testimony of Government's commitment to bolstering Sierra Leone's education sector which links with H.E. President Bio's vision for human capital development. "We are firmly convinced that the skills and training that will be acquired from this institution will unquestionably feed into the country's socio-economic development," he said. According to Dr. Juldeh Jalloh, Freetown Polytechnic would replace the then Eastern Polytechnic and Milton Margai College of Education and Technology, which were two polytechnics that have been recently given university status. He admonished the Polytechnic to be technologically focused by being the drivers of innovation.

The Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Prof. Alpha Tejan Wurie, commented on Government's keen attention to developing the human resource of the country, creating an opening space for tertiary education.  According to him, Freetown Teachers' College (FTC) and Government Technical Institute (GTI) have come a long way since their establishment by the then Education Act in 1964. He said that FTC has over the years made so many gains with proper leadership, ranging from the africanization of industries in 1964; the transition from Teachers' Certificate (TC) to Higher Teachers' Certificate (HTC) for both Primary and Secondary in 1996; the conversion of Government Trade Centre to Government Technical Institute in 1998; the establishment of an opportunity for FTC to start producing teachers by distance-education and train people within their homes and districts in 2001; to the promulgation and enactment of the Tertiary Education Act and the Polytechnic Act of 2001. He commended the Presidency of the Republic of Sierra Leone for giving credence to education in both traditional and technical/vocational options.

In his statement as Chairman of the event, Dr. Charles Silver, said that the State has a responsibility to make its citizens good men and women. He pointed out that human capital development is one of the secrets behind economic advancement, adding that Sierra Leone has a leadership that is hell-bent on transforming the fortunes of the country, and one such way is to create the enabling environment and expand the alternatives and choices of Sierra Leoneans. He furthered that the whole intention behind the declaration is to train citizens and make them be of global importance. "Those people occupying the far East-end of Freetown wouldn't need to go to Milton Margai and other places, but can come here... I consider this as another manifestation of Government's commitment to ensuring that all Sierra Leoneans are at least able to read and write," he said.

The Principal of Freetown Polytechnic, Dr. Samba Moriba, commended the Government of Sierra Leone for being able to fulfil yet another promise, even amidst Covid-19 pandemic that is ravaging economies of the world. He expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education, Tertiary Education Commission, and all other stakeholders for their relentless support throughout their journey in becoming a polytechnic.  "The choice of the Government of Sierra Leone to prioritize ‘human capital development' is a choice based on what is right," he said, continuing that their achievement in becoming a polytechnic bears the hallmark of past leaders of both FTC and GTI.

The Chairman of Tertiary Education Commission, Prof. Aliyagreen Alghali, said that the Freetown Polytechnic was created through the Polytechnic Act of 2001, and was proposed as a merger between FTC (Jui) and GTI (Kissi) both in Freetown. He said that the event is only an operationalization of the Polytechnic, which had been inaugurated by law for over 20 years. . Polytechnic education, according to Prof Alghali, is not new to the skills development landscape in Sierra Leone, and it serves as an excellent opportunity in vocational skills training and development. "By opting for polytechnic education, a student can get a variety of practical hands-on training that will provide the necessary foundation for further professional development, education and/or training," he said. He applauded the Council, Principal and Staff for their patience and diligence in bringing the day to fruition. 

 

 

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