By Matthew Kanu in Makeni
On 16th February 2019 240 students graduated from The University of Makeni in the 7th Graduation Ceremony held at the Fatima Campus .
After spending four years in the University Emma Tholley graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Development Studies. Like most of her colleagues Emma was looking forward to contributing to national development .Happily, she described her stay in the University as one that has broadened her horizons and widened her experience in issues of national and international development. “It takes a lot of determination, hard work and sacrifice to reach this goal”, Emma said after graduation.
Mabinty Tholley raises Emma as a single parent. Like most parents that attended this year’s congregation, Mrs Tholley is a petty trader in Freetown that said she sacrificed a lot for her daughter to complete her studies. “It takes the grace of God to pay her fees annually and send money for her feeding every month” Mrs Tholley explained in an interview after the graduation.
All seven faculties prepared students for graduation in various disciplines. 6 graduated with Bachelor of Science in Agriculture and Food Sciences, 38 graduated with Bachelor in Law, 9 graduated with a Diploma in Law, 7 graduated with a Bachelor in Public Administration, 50 graduated with a Bachelor of Art in Development Studies, 24 graduated with Bachelor of Science in Public Health, 3 graduated with a Bachelor of Art in Mass Communication, 10 graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science, 30 graduated with Bachelor of Science in Human Resource Management , 28 graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Management, 22 graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance, 5 graduated with Bachelor of Science in Banking and Finance, 29 graduated in Certificate in Leadership, 3 graduated with a Higher Teachers Certificate in Science, 44 graduated in Higher Teachers Certificate in Special Needs Education and 1 graduated in Higher Teachers Certificate in Mathematics .
Hundreds of people including parents and dignitaries witnessed the graduation ceremony. Guest Speaker Professor Aiah Gbakima described the graduation as a land mark in the History of Tertiary Education in Sierra Leone. In his capacity as the Sierra Leone Government Minister of Technical and Higher Education Professor Gbakima called on the University of Makeni to continue to uphold standards in education , and to work towards research and innovations .
In his message to graduands and parents University of Makeni Vice Chancellor Professor Joseph Turay said UNIMAK is a rich multi-cultural environment that has been in existence for the past 10 years and the students are part of this History. Professor Turay called on them to maintain national cohesion for the development of Sierra Leone.
This year’s graduation was remarkable because the University is celebrating its 10th anniversary since it inception in 2009.
While graduation can be fun and memorable, it can also be sad moment. For Emma Tholley it is a time to say good bye to good friends and great teachers , and a moment to reflect on her life after graduation. She said her dream is to create a job that would address problems in her community. “I would not be looking for a job but to create one that would find solution to societal problems” Emma said.