Correspondent Matthew Kanu writes:
The Vice-Chancellor of the University of Makeni Rev. Fr. Professor Joseph Turay has received the award of Officer of the Order of the Rokel for his efforts in the promotion of education in Sierra Leone. The award was given to him on the 27th April 2017, the 56th Anniversary of Sierra Leone’s Independence. This prestigious award is given to Sierra Leoneans who in diverse ways contribute to the development of Sierra Leone, and will be presented by the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Koroma.
Professor Joseph Turay served in various capacities before he established the University of Makeni. He was the director of the Justice and Peace and Human Right Commission of the Diocese of Makeni and also director of Radio Maria Sierra Leone. During and after the Civil Conflict in Sierra Leone Professor Turay gave up his time to ensure internally displaced people have the dignity they deserve by providing relief services in the Northern Region of Sierra Leone.
When many people chose to run away during the Ebola outbreak he stayed and significantly contributed to ending the epidemic in the country. He was on the forefront of combating the outbreak .
During his time as director of Radio Maria Sierra Leone over 100 people were employed to serve the radio in different capacities. He single handedly facilitated the opening the Radio Maria Sierra Leone on the 1st January 2004 with the frequency 101.1 in Makeni. In 2007 he saw the need for the radio to reach other part of the country and set up a relay station in Bo and in 2007 another relay was set up in Freetown.
When was director of the Justice and Peace and Human Right Commission he set up Human Right Committees in the Northern Region of Sierra Leone that saw the facilitation of community owned projects that changed people’s perception of the need to respect basic human rights.
Professor Turay, a social scientist with a PhD in Social Sciences, has been a job creator instead of a job seeker. He spends most of his time building capacities and developing institutions. Currently over 200 academic and non academic staff are employed at the University of Makeni working round the clock to promote higher education in Sierra Leone.
24-seat bus donated to UNIMAK by NRA
The Sierra Leone Revenue Authority recently handed over a 24-seat bus donated to UNIMAK, to ease the burden on transportation to and from UNIMAK‘s two campuses. The UNIMAK Vice Chancellor Rev. Fr. Prof. Joseph Turay welcomed the delegation from the NRA, saying that this donation was a clear indication that the NRA is meeting it’s corporate social responsibility. He emphasised that the university would like to partner with the NRA in designing courses that are relevant to the human resource development of Sierra Leone.
NRA Commissioner General Haja Kala Kamara handing over the keys of the bus to UNIMAK
Addressing students and staff of the university, the NRA Commissioner General Haja Kala Kamara said the donation is a sign that the NRA is committed to give back what the people of Sierra Leone deserve to get from NRA in the field of education and development in general. She called on UNIMAK to engage in public private partnerships so the university might meaningfully contribute to national development, and she called on the students and staff of the university to maintain the bus and make good use of it .
Saturday 11th March 2017
The Registrar and Director of Academic Affairs Rev. Fr. Doctor Francis Sehdu Sesay
Staff and Management of the University of Makeni held an orientation for over 286 newly admitted students into various faculties and departments. This is the second intake of students admitted after the release of the private WASCE results in late January 2017.
Addressing students the Registrar and Director of Academic Affairs Rev. Fr. Francis Sehdu Sesay advised students to pay close heed to all information from departmental heads and the registry, and encouraged them to take their work seriously, pay attention in class, and attend all classes required for graduation .
On Saturday 11th February 2017 the University of Makeni awarded degrees, certificate and diplomas to 297 students.
Master in Sustainable Development graduand Musa Sesay
This year’s academic congregation brought together local and foreign dignitaries with over 1000 dignitaries and parents attended the congregation.
A military band entertained the dignitaries, staff, parents and students.
This year the university awarded Certificates of Recognition to the Resident Minister North Alie D Kamara, the Managing Director of NADECO, and the Paramount Chief of Bombali Sheborah Chiefdom Bai Sheborah Kasangha . The university also presented Certificates of Recognition to partners abroad. These included Italian representatives from Amici Dela Sierra Leone, a representative from Rondine and the son of the late Lawyer Pavarai .
This year’s Guest Speaker was the Bishop Emeritus of the Diocese of Makeni George Biguzzi.
Read the keynote address of Bishop George Biguzzi here ……
Read the Address of Vice-Chancellor Rev Fr Joe Turay here …..
On 4th February 2017, George Biguzzi, Emeritus Bishop of Makeni and Founder of the University of Makeni celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of his episcopal ordination to the Diocese of Makeni in the Cathedral church of Our Lady of Fatima, Makeni
The happy occasion was also his 81st birthday, and in his speech of thanks Bishop George recalled many happy times since he first came to Sierra Leone in 1974.
Read his words in full here …