Spreading Education Excellence in Sierra Leone

The University has established an Office of Affiliation and Quality Assurance to nurture excellence in tertiary education in Sierra Leone by making UNIMAK expertise and facilities available to other tertiary institutions, and by fostering collaboration between UNIMAK staff and those in other tertiary institutions working in related fields.

The defined role of this new Office is to undertake affiliation and quality assurance in the context of national tertiary education legislation, policy guidelines, and UNIMAK‘s mission, goals and pertinent strategic objectives. Professor Dr. Sue Cutter has been appointed as the Director of the Office of Affiliation and Quality Assurance( OAQA)

UNIMAK will offer affiliation in the short and medium terms to credible institutions offering programmes and courses in fields related to those offered by UNIMAK and will  accompany affiliated institutions to the point of full accreditation by the Sierra Leone Tertiary Education Commission.

Dr Bidema Carrol

Dr Bidema Carrol

The Office of Affiliation and Quality Assurance will support the efforts of UNIMAK‘s own faculties and departments to achieve their aims, objectives and targets within UNIMAK‘s strategic framework, to provide quality education and to model the academic excellence expected from affiliated institutions.

To kickstart the operations of the office, a Colloquium on Quality in Tertiary Education was held for two days for academic staff of UNIMAK. The key note presentation was delivered by Dr. Bidema Carrol, World Bank Human Development Specialist, on Quality Assurance in Higher Education.

UNIMAK Gets Connected

Fatima campus is now connected up to the national power grid of Sierra Leone’s National element of electricity distribution networkPower Authority, and is enjoying continuous availability of electricity. The site previously relied on diesel powered generators for all its electricity. The new connection is an  enormous improvement, bringing very welcome reductions in cost and environmental noise pollution. “The silence and peace of UNIMAK‘s environs without the noise of our generators is indeed a blessing” says Acting Vice Chancellor, Joseph Turay.

Promoting Special Needs Education in Sierra Leone

On 13th August UNIMAK‘s administration and the Special Needs Department hosted the Sierra Leone's national coat of armsParliamentary Education Committee with a bid to lobby for the promotion of Special Needs Education in the country.

Since UNIMAK‘s foundation in 2005, Special Needs Education has been developing steadily. Currently the University offers Certificate, Diploma and Bachelors in Special Education ( Hearing Impaired) for Specialist Teachers, as well as an Introduction to Special Needs Education certificate for main stream teachers. In the 2012-2013 academic year, specialist courses, along the same lines, will begin for teachers of the Visually Impaired.

Aware of the new Disablity Act in Sierra Leone, UNIMAK is asking for financial incentives to be offered for specialist qualifications. Teachers are reluctant to enter into Special Edcuation as there are no financial incentives offered for specialist qualification. UNIMAK wants the Government to consider how to make SEN teaching atttractive.

National Council of Paramount Chiefs and Inter-Religious Council of Sierra Leone

The National Council of Paramount Chiefs (NCPC) and the Inter-Religious Council (IRC-SL) in collaboration with their respective implementing partner, University of Makeni (UNIMAK) and the Justice and Peace Commission (JPC-SL), will embark on a three days regional conference and training in each of the three regional headquarter towns. In the conference the Paramount Chiefs will host regional representatives of political parties in their respective regions as well participants from NEC, PPRC, the security sector, the media and CBOs to deliberate and affirm the neutrality of Paramount Chiefs in national politics. The Inter-Religious Council will on the other hand offer training in mediation and conflict prevention to the Paramount Chiefs in the three regions and the Tribal Heads in the Western Area. This conference and training are part of the United Nations Integrated Peacebuilding Office in Sierra Leone (UNIPSIL) engagement with Non-State Actors to promote political tolerance and non-violent elections.

As custodians of the land and traditions, and the highest traditional authority in local governance, the conference will serve as a dialogue platform on the November general elections for Paramount Chiefs and other stakeholders including political party representatives, Law Officers, the Sierra Leone Police, NEC and PPRC to discuss the role of Paramount Chiefs before, during and after the elections.

As moral guarantors the role of Religious Leaders especially in their effort to translate our envied religious tolerance to political tolerance and their partnership with Traditional Authorities could not have come at a better time. Subsequently the training in mediation and conflict prevention which is a critical role of Traditional Authorities will form an integral part of the summit. As part of their duty, the Paramount Chiefs, Tribal Heads and Religious leaders in collaboration with the United Nations in Sierra Leone and implementing partners duly commit themselves to and call on their constituencies to work with Government and all partners for free, fair, and peaceful elections.

This summit will be climaxed by the election of regional executive for the Paramount Chiefs. The conference and training schedules are as follows:

• Eastern Region, Kenema   12 – 14 April

• Southern Region, Bo   19 – 21 April

• Northern Region, Makeni   24 – 27 April
(to be climax by a mini durbar of Paramount Chiefs in the Northern Region)

• Western Area     3 May.

UNIMAK Introduces Degree in Law

Following careful evaluation of the submission by the University of Makeni for the introduction of the Bachelor of Law with Honours Degree programme, the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) has in a letter dated 23rd February 2012 granted the request for the introduction of a Bachelor of Law with Honours Degree (LLB Hons).

The TEC Executive Secretary in his letter stated that students could now register for the course with effect from 2012/2013 academic session. The TEC also recommended several improvements to the programme which are expected to be implemented within the shortest possible time including additional materials to be covered in the course on Sierra Leone Legal System and Jurisprudence, including minor changes or additions to the titles and subtopics of other modules among other things.

Head of Law Department, Chernor Benedict Jalloh

According to the head of the Law Faculty, Lawyer Chernor Benedict Jalloh, this is indeed welcome news noting that Law has become a strong and versatile career option inspired by world class law schools such as the Sierra Leone Law School. Mr. Jalloh expressed his sincere thanks and appreciation on behalf of the Governing Council, Chancellor, Administration, Staff and Students of UNIMAK, for the wise consideration of the TEC in extending this course (Law) for the first time in the provinces of Sierra Leone apart from Freetown.

The HOD disclosed that plans are currently under way to improve the present condition of the law department by acquiring sets of law reports of Sierra Leone and England, improve on the curriculum that will reflect our current trend. He also underscored the need for more infrastructural development and a well digitalized library for their students. According to the Acting Vice Chancellor, Rev. Fr. Joseph Turay, apart from the law course introduced, UNIMAK is also proposing to kick-start a series of courses in Chinese language and culture, and to establish the Agriculture Science and Engineering faculty.