United Nations Resident Coordinator (UNRC), Babatunde Ahonsi, has congratulated the University of Makeni (UniMak) on having elevated education and sustainable development at the highest echelon of academia in Sierra Leone.
He was speaking at the virtual launch of the doctoral education programmes and Sustainable Development, for which UniMak recently received the license from the Tertiary Education Commission.
The RC said that the added doctoral courses to the University’s curriculum demonstrate the ability of UniMak to adapt to new trends and understand gaps and opportunities in the country’s development.
He emphasised that education is crucial to every country’s development. In Sierra Leone, this is recognised through the Medium-Term National Development Plan, which has education as a flagship programme. “There are many challenges the education sector faces in Sierra Leone today, but I am inspired and certain that this programme will capacitate future professionals to be agents of positive change and provide solutions to these challenges”, the RC further added.
He informed the virtual gathering that the UN in Sierra Leone works to support the Government in accelerating progress towards sustainable development goals. “It is heart-warming to know that the country will have a new batch of high-level professionals in sustainable development. Both topics speak directly to our efforts aimed at eradicating poverty and inequalities,” he expanded.
Sierra Leone, according to the RC, needs to tap into its brightest and best citizens to contextualise and actualise the 2030 target with innovative approaches, and that UniMak is doing its part by providing the structure and the foundation to equip education and development leaders to accelerate the implementation of the SDGs.
On behalf of the United Nations in Sierra Leone, Mr Ahonsi expressed hope that these fit-for-purpose programmes established at UNIMAK would serve as a catalyst to drive not only a discourse on the SDGs but in unleashing its brightest and best to harness the very best potentials of the SDGs anchored on leaving no one behind.
The PhD in Sustainable Development with a total credit of 57 hours is designed to attract people from both the public and private sectors who deal with Sierra Leone’s natural resources. It will enable students to learn how to become more effective in the conceptualisation, planning, and implementation of sustainable development programmes through a better understanding of the issues, enhanced technical skills, improved awareness of the commercial and management techniques in delivering more sustainable practices in their socio-cultural, political, and economic environments.
The PhD in Education has a total credit of 60 hours. The PhD in sustainable development is designed to prepare students for careers as higher education instructors, educational researchers, scholars, college instructors, teacher educators and teachers. The PhD programme involves formal academic coursework, professional research, and development activities in the education field and sustainable development.