Chairman of NATCOM Delivers Public Lecture and Makes Awards

from Correspondent Matthew Kanu:

6th May 2017

PUBLIC LECTURE

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.

Follow this link for notes on the lecture.

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.

 

Fair Exam Processes Protect Students’ Rights

Students of The University of Makeni recently took their first semester exams.  Since its inception in 2009 the University of Makeni has ensured a clean and transparent exams process for all faculties and departments.

The Registrar of the University Reverend Fr. Dr. Francis Sehdu Sesay says no one has the mandate to defraud any exams. The Registrar ensures that the examination process is fair and the rights of the students are highly respected. He warned students to avoid any form of exams malpractice.

Director of Human Resource Veronica Kamara said for the past years the University of Makeni has had a zero tolerance to exams malpractice. This is why many parents are sending their children to study at the University. “Here we maintain standards. We have won the public trust“ she maintained.

Many students believe that the country will only develop if its universities maintain academic standards, so that the universities can compete effectively with other universities in Africa and other continents in the world .

Victoria Koroma – a Successful Student of UNIMAK

Matthew Kanu contributes this story:

Victoria Koroma is a former student of the University of Makeni Law Department. She graduated in 2016 with a first class in LLB and did extremely well at Law School (with a class 2:2) and emerged as the best student in her Bar Class. A few months after her call to the bar she won a Commonwealth Scholarship to the United Kingdom for an LLM Program in Gender, Conflict and Human Rights Law at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom. The one year course is a jointly funded programme with funds from both Commonwealth and Ulster University described as ‘Commonwealth Shared Scholarship’.

This Shared Scholarship is highly competitive as it is open to all Commonwealth citizens in the world. However, she was very lucky to get it especially in a University with a single award (nomination candidate). It is a fully funded scholarship with travel, tuition and living expenses fully taken care of. This course will end in September 2017 when she will have submitted her dissertation. However, her visa will last till January 2018. At the moment, she is searching for a PhD scholarship opportunity as the Shared Scholarship does not fund PhDs.

The course started on the 29th September after a two week orientation. Coming from a post war country as well as her experience in human rights activities in Sierra Leone means that some of the contents of the course are not new. One thing she is very appreciative of and which has helped her got a foundation is the basis she learnt from her Human Rights Law class at UNIMAK. Also, the rigors she went through in writing her dissertation and getting to learn how to reference work to avoid the ‘almighty’ plagiarism check at UNIMAK has greatly helped her with the basis to do a better Oscola referencing. Assessment grades have started coming out and she is up to expectation.

Commonwealth Scholarships are amazing with no expenses left unfunded. Students who have completed their degrees with excellent results can go get this opportunity even without the help of the national nominating body (Ministry of Education). All that is required is to visit their website, check their criteria, put relevant documents together be ready to give you time and get started. You will be surprised when you realize that it works.

She is in a special way thankful to Father Joseph Turay (Vice Chancellor of UNIMAK), Adam Goguen (Former Registrar of UNIMAK) and Joseph Kobba (a lecturer of the UNIMAK Law Department) for their support in making this dream a success. She is grateful to Bishop Natalio Paganelli (Bishop of Makeni Diocese ) and the entire Diocese of Makeni for their generosity all through her university studies.

Public Health Students Visit Adax and Sunbird Bioenergy Company on Field Trip

By Matthew Kanu

70 Public Health students of the University of Makeni visited the Adax Bioenergy and Sun Bird Bioenergy Company in December to have first hand information on the administrative management, waste management and operations of the factory. In 2016 the Adax Bioenergy Company sold about 75% of the company to Sun Bird Bioenergy Company. The two companies, located in three Chiefdoms in Tonkolili District and Bombali District,  will be producing ethanol and electricity in Sierra Leone. The trip which ended with Question and Answer sessions was an eye opener for the students because they were able to learn directly about the operations of the company and how they control waste .

Admin Officer of Adax Bioenergy and Sunbird Companies, Andel Mark William, addressing UNIMAK Public Health students

Distillery Manager Dr. Joe Lahai Sumana addressing students in front of the factory

Public Health students observing and taking notes on their findings

Matriculation of Students for 2016-2017

By Matthew Kanu:

UNIMAK‘S 2016-17 academic year Matriculating Students

The 2016-2017 academic year matriculation of students was held at the Fatima Campus on the 3rd December 2016. 434 new students attended the matriculation ceremony with parents, staff and senior management of the university. Addressing the students Vice-Chancellor Professor Joe Turay said that this was the beginning of the journey into the university. He invited them to enjoy the culture and experience of UNIMAK, and encouraged them not to exploit, or be exploited by, others.

Vice Chancellor of UNIMAK delivers the welcome address to students

Professor Turay emphasized that the University of Makeni is a unique local brand made in Sierra Leone because it is the first catholic and private university in Sierra Leone. At UNIMAK students can enjoy the experience of having a free and secure  environment, an open minded environment with public lectures, and the willingness to work in communities. He said knowledge is transforming society, liberating people from poverty, respecting the dignity of the human person and driving social transformation.

The students and parents attending this year’s matriculation ceremony said they are happy to be part of the UNIMAK family  because of the commitment of UNIMAK‘s staff and management to the promotion of quality education in Sierra Leone.