Students From The Republic Of Guinea in UNIMAK

Correspondent Matthew Kanu writes:

34 Guinean students from King Mo Roi the 6th University arrived at the University of Makeni (UNIMAK) on the 5th August 2018 to learn how to write, read and speak English.

In his address during an orientation for the students at the beginning of their four week course, King Mo Roi 6th University lecturer Moussa Camara praised the high level of hospitality displayed by staff and students of UNIMAK upon their arrival. Mr. Camara informed journalists that UNIMAK is their second home as the decision to partner with UNIMAK is a step in the right direction for the Human Resource Development of Guinea and Sierra Leone.

Guinean students from King Mo Roi the 6th University and UNIMAK staff.

Early this year the founder of King Mo Roi 6th University signed a partnership agreement with UNIMAK not only in learning how to write and speak English but to entirely cooperate in other fields of academia and development. The signing of this agreement was described by many here at UNIMAK as the beginning of new chapter in the promotion of higher quality education in the Mano River Union. This is the first time UNIMAK is in agreement with a Francophone University in the West African Sub Region since it inception in 2009.

Dean of Commerce and Management Victoria Iheancho admonished the students of King Mo Roi 6th University to be steadfast in their ambition to write and speak English well. Madam Iheancho was happy to hear that previous students from the King Mo Roi 6th University are performing well in their jobs. “I am happy that majority of past students who attended the training gained meaningful employment upon their return to Guinea after they completed the one month period at UNIMAK” she explained .

Guinea is a French speaking country in West Africa that shares a border with Sierra Leone. This is the third year students of the King Mo Roi 6th University nave come to UNIMAK.

Accounting Science students Sory Keita said in an interview that the UNIMAK environment is good for learning . “There is no noise on campus. The environment is quiet” he said. Like most female students Linguistic student Mabinty Camara praised the organization and professional skills of lecturers at UNIMAK .”They organize an orientation for us. Everything is formally done,” Miss Camara explained. She is confident of increasing her knowledge and ability in public speaking. The majority of the students promised to inform colleagues from other universities in Guinea to come to UNIMAK to increase their ability to read, write and speak English fluently .

341 More Students Graduated from UNIMAK

Correspondent Matthew Kanu writes:

UNIMAK Graduands 2018

The University of Makeni on Saturday 3rd March 2018 graduated 314 students from various disciplines in the 6th congregation ceremony of the University.

Appreciating the University’s effort in training them for the past four years the best female student Elizabeth Momodu said she was proud enough to represent the university at all levels of society. She said the training she received over the years shaped her world view or way of thinking from small community to a global community. She said she stood tall among colleague students because of hard work and commitment . She therefore called on colleague students to work hard and be meaningful people in society.

In his address to the congregation the chairman of the University of Makeni governing council, Professor Sahr P.T Gbamanja, congratulated the University for delivering quality higher education in Sierra Leone . Professor Gbamanja called on the students, academic staff and management of the University to do more and meaningfully contribute to the human resource development.

Addressing graduands , the Chancellor of the University Bishop Natalio Paganelli said the graduands are harvesting the fruit of years of sacrifice and hard work. “You must be proud for having attained this important achievement . The University of Makeni is proud to offer another set of graduates to the country” he explained.

Vice Chancellor University of Makeni Professor Joseph Turay addressing the graduands and invited guests.

The Vice Chancellor Professor Joseph Turay , in his address to graduands parents and invited guest, highlighted the achievement of the University over the years . For any country and university to progress it must invest in research and development. “The University of Makeni through its directorate of research and development is gradually working towards embedding the research culture in the university, and has completed the construction of a three apartment staff quarters whilst the construction of more classrooms is also going on at Yoni campus. A total of three hundred million Leones have been provided by the Diocese of Makeni, the university and its partners as scholarships for students at undergraduate and graduate level for the 2017/2018 academic year” he noted .

UNIMAK Organises Third Election Public Lecture Series

By correspondent Matthew Kanu

The University of Makeni Vice Chancellor Professor Joseph Turay addressing students, staff and presidential aspirants.

Sierra Leoneans will be going to the polls on the 7th March 2018. Over the past weeks the University of Makeni engaged presidential aspirants in a series of public lectures on their development vision of Sierra Leone 2018/2023 and beyond . Hundreds of students turned out to listen to the aspirants.

First year Mass Communication student Patient Kargbo is a first time voter who said the public lectures of the political aspirants helped her a lot to know the issues of national development across the country. She said the presentation of the various manifestos shaped her worldview of politics as compared to before when she thought politics was not her business.

A student of the Faculty of Commerce and Management Abibatu Tarawalie is also a first time voter who said she was expecting the aspirants to enact scholarship scheme policies for university students across the country.

45 years old resident of Makeni Amadu Sesay is an unemployed man who witnessed the public lectures and thinks education should be prioritized by all aspirants because there is every need to focus on the human resource development of the country.

Students and staff listening to the public lectures

This is the third election public lecture series organized by the University. It is part of the tradition of the University to engage political party aspirants during national democratic elections. The Alliance Democratic Party presidential aspirant Mohamed Kamaramba Mansaray, the All Peoples Congress Party Presidential Aspirants Dr. Samura Kamara, the running mate of the Sierra Leone Peoples Party Dr. Mohamed Joldeh Jalloh and the Peoples Democratic Change presidential aspirant Charles Francis Margai honored their invitation and presented their vision for Sierra Leone to the general students body and staff of the university.

Speaking to reporters before the lecture the UNIMAK Development Studies Head of Department Unisa Partick Kamara said the University of Makeni is not partisan. “As a University we promote sustainable development and not party politics” Mr. Kamara noted.

The first elections public lecture series was held in 2007 and the second in 2012 respectively . The majority of the presidential candidates discussions around the elections were centered on better health delivery, quality education, free press, agriculture ,job creation and infrastructural development.

All March 7 2018 presidential aspirants interviewed by the this medium indicated that the public lecture series organized by the university is a better initiative for peaceful democratic process before, during and after the 2018 general elections in Sierra Leone. They also opined that such an initiative at university level is step in the right direction for Sierra Leone emerging democracy.

Over 3million Sierra Leoneans will be voting during the March 7 elections out of a population of 7 million people.

In his address to political party aspirants and students, the University of Makeni Vice Chancellor Professor Joseph Turay said the university is a platform for democratic discussions that will shape the future of Sierra Leone at local and international level. “Our aim is to generate new ideas that will strengthen our democracy” Professor Turay emphasized.

As the country prepares for the March elections many people at home and abroad are expecting a nonviolent electoral process .

UNIMAK Hosts National Mental Health Conference

Correspondent Matthew Kanu writes:

A two day conference on Mental Health was held at the University of Makeni in December, organized by the Sierra Leone Mental Health Coalition. Participants in the conference were drawn from the health sector and other civil society groups with focus on health, including the University of Makeni Mental Health Department ,the Social Workers Union and Health and Advocacy Program.

Addressing participants of the conference the Registrar and Director of Academic Affairs Reverend Dr. Fr. Francis Sehdu Sesay said every meaningful Sierra Leonean should help others in maintaining a stable and mental health status in the country. “Our responsibility as a University is to minimize mental illness in Sierra Leone” he claimed.

Many believe that people should try to embrace the seriousness and reality of mental health in Sierra Leone because people should have advice on how to manage themselves. There are mental health risks in crisis situations such as the Ebola outbreak and the mudslide that change the psychological makeup of the people .

Many people in the street of Makeni hold the view that the conference is just the beginning of expressing the seriousness of focusing on Mental Health in Sierra Leone. Expressing his opinion in an interview, a trader in the Makeni City main lorry park, Sorie Conteh, said there are limited Mental Health drugs in most hospitals across Sierra Leone . “Government should know that Mental Health patients have their right to access affordable drugs” he explained . A student from the University of Makeni John Koroma believed that the families have a lot to do in order to minimize mental health in the country . He believed that the family is the first institution to respect the mentally ill people in society.“The families need to know that Mental Health patients should be respected” he exclaimed.

According to retired Dr. Edward Muana there were over 400,000 Mental Health patients after the decade long civil conflict and there are over 600,000 Mental Health Patients after the Ebola outbreak in Sierra Leone. According to the 2015 Housing and Population Census there are 7 million people in Sierra Leone.

Addressing participants at the end of the conference Joshua Duncan of the Mental Health Coalition of Sierra Leone explained that the coalition was impressed with calibre of participants from the health sector and civil society that attended the conference but emphasized the need to engage in networking and partnership in order to ensure that the mental health illness is minimized or eradicated in the country. “The country will not develop if we refuse to focus on mental health” he explained.


Orientation of UNIMAK’s New Students

On 21st October 2017 new students were orientated in the midst of lecturers and management of the university inside the prestigious auditorium situated at the Fatima Campus.

Addressing the new students during the orientation, the Registrar and Director of Academic Affairs Reverend Fr. Dr. Francis Sehdu Sesay encouraged students to be focused in their studies.  He further emphasized that UNIMAK has a zero tolerance to exams malpractice, and student’s absenteeism without a justified reason is not allowed.

Students and Staff at the 2017 Orientation

Director of Administration and Finance Reverend Fr. Benjamin Sesay admonished the students to be responsible students within and outside campus. He also informed them that by gaining admission into the university they have entered into a contract in which their responsibility is to pay their fees in order for the university to provide the required services for them. “You know we are not receiving government subvention because this is a private university. 70% of our income is from fees so we encourage you to pay your fees on time” he noted.

Speaking in an interview first year Mass Communication Ejatu Jalloh says this is her first time of leaving her parents in Freetown but she feels very comfortable living in the university hostel not far away from the campus. “The environment is very friendly. The lecturers are very friendly. All that I need now is to listen to the advice of the Registrar and Director of Academic Affairs to focus on my studies” she said.