from Correspondent Matthew Kanu:
6th May 2017
The Chairman of the National Telecommunication Commission (NATCOM), Momoh Konteh, delivered a public lecturer on the topic “THE FUTURE OF TELECOMMUNICATIONS AND MEDIA ETHICS IN SIERRA LEONE‘’. The public lecture attracted students, lecturers and people from different sectors of society . His lecture was the 56th Independent Anniversary lecture. It is now a UNIMAK culture to host personalities from the private and public sector in Sierra Leone and abroad to celebrate Sierra Leone Independence Anniversaries . This year’s lecturer, Momoh Konteh, is one of the distinguished personalities that have contributed greatly in the development of Sierra Leone information technology and education.
AWARD TO KOINADUGU STUDENTS
Momoh Konteh met a group of Koinadugu students from various disciplines at UNIMAK. Addressing the Koinadugu students he said contributing to the education of the young people is vital to the development of the country. “There is every need to extend a helping hand to needy students of Koinadugu District because this will develop the human resource of Sierra Leone” he noted. Mr. Konteh therefore donated the sum of one hundred million Leones towards the tuition fees of all students of Koinadugu District studying various courses at UNIMAK (currently 86 students).
Secretary General for UNIMAK Koinadugu Student Union Ballah Musa Sesay appreciated the donation and promised to study hard and get the best grade that will meet the criteria for a competitive job market . “Our parents are tax payers yet the Government of Sierra Leone said that we don’t deserve to get government grant aid. Thanks to Momoh Konteh for helping us” he explained.
Students from the University of Makeni are not getting government grant in aid because it is a private university. Mr. Sesay said they are finding it very difficult to raise their tuition annually as a result of financial difficulties from their parents. “If we utilized this money well by studying hard and graduated with good grade it will positively impact our lives forever” he emphasized .
He called on other people from Koinadudgu District to do the same and promote higher education in Koinadugu District .
Sustainable Development student Ahmed S. Faroh emphasized that the donation is so timely and a step in the right direction that will elevate students from poverty . “It means a lot to all of us pursuing higher education at UNIMAK” he narrated .
Year 3 Development Studies students Antonette A Conteh is happy that their brother Momoh Konteh has come to their aid. She further explained that they can’t go to universities in Freetown because of the distance and financial challenges in the city. “UNIMAK is closer to Kabala. Our families can easily reach us and the cost of living is relatively cheap. We can’t afford to go Freetown and other parts of the country . This donation will help many of us to happily continue our studies.”
Appreciating the donation UNIMAK Development Studies Head of Department Unisa Patrick Kamara described Mr. Konteh as a true patriot with a clean heart for his country. The NATCOM Chairman Momoh Konteh is the first Sierra Leonean to make such a great donation to vulnerable students from Koinadugu District.
Vice Chancellor Professor Joseph Turay said investing in education is the only way that will positively enhance economic growth. “I hope many more will follow the footsteps of Momoh Konteh and help support the students” he reiterated.
DONATION of 24 SEAT BUS TO UNIMAK STUDENTS
The chairman of NATCOM then donated a 24 seater bus to The University of Makeni, the second to do so after the National Revenue Authority donated a similar bus in April of this year. “This is meant specifically to solve the problem of transportation” he noted.
Since the University of Makeni was established in 2005 the student population has increased dramatically said the Director of Academic Affairs, Dr. Francis Sehdu Sesay. Students are coming from all parts of the country. ”Our faculty population has increased . New departments have been introduced. These include the Political Science Department and the Department of Clinical Counselling . The present students population is 1,700” he explained.
Responding to the donation the Vice Chancellor Professor Joseph Turay said The University of Makeni has an open door policy to public private partnership. “This is what will make the country recover from it economic difficulties. This is what will promote higher education in Sierra Leone” he said . Professor Turay also maintained that what Momoh Konteh has exhibited is an example of a typical Sierra Leonean with determination to improve the education sector
Many believe that higher institutions like the University of Makeni deserve to be supported through donations from people like Momoh Konteh . More people within and outside Sierra Loene should in one way or another promote higher education in Sierra Leone.