Tourism Minister Opens Tourism and Hospitality Curriculum Review Workshop

Tourism Minister Opens Tourism and Hospitality Curriculum Review Workshop

At MMCET. Tourism Minister Opens Tourism and Hospitality Curriculum Review Workshop. The principal of the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology (MMCET) polytechnic, Dr. Philip John Kanu has articulated that the tourism industry is so important to the institution that he is happy that their mother (the Minister of Tourism) is back home and that his statement would anchor on the great things she has done for the industry which the college has experienced among the many things she has done within a very short time. He made the statement at the curriculum review workshop at MMCET polytechnic, Brookfields campus in Freetown on Friday 16th April 2021. The principal said the Brookfields campus was neglected over the years but affirmed that the college is grateful for the support received from the Minister and would make the best out of it. According to Dr. Kanu, the curriculum review process is for the entire country and that after validation of the document it would be integrated into the tourism curriculum nationwide. He further informed that the workshop is the beginning for a nationwide workshops to sound the opinion of other stakeholders in the sector and affirmed that Sierra Leone has beautiful touristic places. Dr Kanu disclosed that the funds secured to improve the sector are in the country and that the consultants have been contacted for the recruitment of service providers for work to soon commence for the rehabilitation of the college including renovation of the classrooms and support to the curriculum review process in addition to other players to support the process. Dr. Kanu also revealed that the World Bank has provided funds to train 400 hoteliers and other players in the industry. The Vice Principal and Director of Studies, MMCET, Dr. Mohamed Alie Jalloh, in his overview of the curriculum review process said it is a deliberate and calculated move to bring quality education to the college which started two years ago when the principal hit the ground running after which the college hired a consultant to do a needs assessment of the college with a strategic plan anchored on transforming teaching and learning, quality assurance and transforming the college to a technical university reiterating that the three pillars have led to remarkable transformation of the college. Dr. Jalloh went on to state that the curriculum review process is the bye-product of the strategic plan to ascertain the value of the college curriculum to meet the demands of the industry- consumers of the college products who would also make inputs into the process. He said participants at the workshop include formidable experts who have put the document together but opined that the industry must tell the college the type of products they want disclosing that they would travel nationwide to sound the views of other stakeholders before the document is validated that would give students the confidence to become proud ambassadors of the college and looked forward to their full participation. The Minister of Tourism and Cultural Affairs, Dr. Memunatu Pratt said the day is historic, exciting, emotional and epoch-making in terms of tourism education in the country observing that the college has for decades not had a dynamic and visionary principal who has transformed the institution within a very short time, navigates around all the sectors in the industry and described him as a go-getter assuring that the curriculum review process would really help the college. Dr. Pratt continued that President Julius Maada Bio has prioritized human capital development- the most valuable asset for the country who are mostly youths, that the revised curriculum would add value to the sector highlighting that education improves income and productivity within the sector.Dr. Pratt also observed that the Ministry wants to provide employees with information and the skills for international best practice, that the curriculum is obsolete and does not meet current trends, assured that the Ministry would fully integrate the validated curriculum into the national curriculum and work with the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education to integrate the curriculum with other tourism institutions in the country underlining that capacity building is a critical component in the sector to meet current challenges lamenting that mushroom industries do not have the right staff. “A trained and qualified workforce in the sector is highly required. Furthermore, human resource capacity is necessary in this productive sector. Therefore, we want an harmonized curriculum for the sector,” she maintained. The representative of the Tertiary Education Commission reiterated that designing and reviewing a curriculum cannot be overemphasized, that curriculum review should be a regular process to ensure quality and relevance in academic work essential for all institutions adding that its the embodiment of a program to support the acquisition of knowledge but lamented that there is a mismatch between graduates and the job market. Earlier in her welcome address, Mrs. Halima Juma, Dean of the Brookfields campus welcomed all to the campus and launch of the first phase of the Skills Development Fund Workshop and curriculum review and commended all for coming to share their expertise and experiences with the college. The Short Course Coordinator at MMCET, Papa Njai reiterated that tourism matters in Sierra Leone and that Milton Margai College is ready to take the lead.

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