President Bio commissioned three Projects at the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology and transformed the College into a University *
President Rtd Brigadier Julius Maada Bio on Sunday 6th December 2020 commissioned three Projects of the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology and transformed the college to a Technical University. The three Projects include the rehabilitated Clinic, a New Staff Complex and and the refurbished Great Hall, all at the Goderich Campus of the college at which event he articulated that the college is changing the narrative for a skilled and resourceful labour force that would transform the country.
The auspicious and well-attended ceremony took place at the Peace and Love Amphitheatre, Goderich Campus in Freetown.
The President stated that the country is preparing for the future noting that technical/vocational education had been neglected in the past and underscored the need to have a Technical University to train people who would help advance the country reiterating that the new University would focus on science and technology.
President Bio stressed, “there are very strong reasons to transform the college to a Technical University. The reviewed draft University Act will soon be approved by Cabinet. I am proud of Dr. Philip Kanu and staff for their tremendous support to the college. Dr. Kanu is an exemplary leader who is excelling against all odds. Great things are happening in this college.”
The President also disclosed that funds have been secured from BADEA to expand the college and announced a Le 3.5 billion funds for Skills and Development for the College, enlightening that the essence of education is to have a critical mind and stand for the people and
The principal, Dr. Philip John Kanu revealed that he would ensure that the programs of the President succeed, that he will forever be grateful to the President for the appointment. The principal stated that he has committed staff and that the community is solidly behind the college.
Dr. Kanu also informed that his administration has rehabilitated the toilets, lecture halls, provided a bus for staff, rain boots and coats, a state-of-the-art laboratory that can conduct DNA tests and commended sponsors like Rokel and Sierra Leone Commercial Banks, the Food and Agriculture Organisation and Lintex.
He went on to state that the college has zero tolerance for examination malpractice and sexual harassment and that results are published on the college’s website and on time, that prospective students can apply online, a Research and Publicity Unit established to which Le100 million seed money has been allocated, a Quality Assurance Unit also established informing that there has been no strike action as salaries are paid on time.
Other developments he highlighted are the CCTV and digital tools installed in all three campuses of the college, resurveying of the college’s land and documents handed over to the administration but appealed for additional staff to run the college three shifts, a sports complex and assured prudent financial management.
The Principal emphasized that the college is community-owned citing as example the presence of 11 Paramount Chiefs from Bombali and Karene Districts, sand and stone miners, fishermen and fishmongers and traditional authorities at the ceremony. He underscored the development as another milestone in the history of academia in Sierra Leone stressing that the history of the college is incomplete without the Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) and President Julius Maada Bio who is pivotal in the transformation of the college.
The First Lady, Mrs. Fatima Bio underscored the need for girl child education that is the key to development and that 2.5 million pupils are on government scholarships adding that 22 % of the country’s GDP is allocated to education and encouraged all to learn skills and promised 50 scholarships to the community to attend the Technical University.
Earlier in his welcome statement, the Chairman of the Polytechnic Council, Dr. Victor E A Kabia commended government for supporting state-owned institutions like the college to celebrate its core values, share its rich history recalling that the college is among the first three teacher training colleges to be established in Africa, the others being in Ghana and Kenya and affirmed that the college is at the crossroad of civilization and is the center of excellence in teaching and research.
According to Dr. Kabia, the college has matured and very much ready to become a Technical University.
Making a statement on behalf of the community, Rev. Arthur Coker-Davies said the community has gained a lot from the college highlighting that within the past two years rapid and tangible developments have taken place at the college and warned land-grabbers to hands off the college’s land.
Representing the Alumini Association, Mrs. Julia Fofanah said that the college is ready to take up the challenge of a university and that the principal is the right choice.
On behalf of Paramount Chiefs in Bombali and Karene Districts, Paramount Chief Bai Shebora Kasanga of Bombali Shebora Chiefdom, Bombali District said they are grateful to be part of the epoch-making event.
The Chairman of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), Professor A.M. Alghali underscored that transformation of the college to a Technical University is a remarkable day in the history of higher education in the country and recalled when they received the application from the college for the new status.
He disclosed that they looked at the college’s governance and administration, facilities, course curriculum and subjects, that the Commission reviewed the proposal and confirmed the upgrading of the college, stating that the Technical University would commence in October 2021 adding that they spared no effort to ensure high standard and international best practices in unanimously approving the college.
The Minister of Technical and Higher Education Professor Aiah Gbakima reiterated that due process was followed to the latter to avoid past mistakes and that Cabinet would approve the college’s new status to ensure that the right thing is done.
Public Relations Unit