By Edward Vamboi
The Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Professor Alpha Tejan Wurie, has updated the media on the importance and relevance of the University Act 2021 to the country’s educational system.
Speaking during the weekly Government Press Briefing at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Information and Communications on the 15th July 2021, Professor Alpha Tejan Wurie dilated on the Act stressing that it expands the space for higher education in Sierra Leone.
Professor Wurie explained that the Parliament of Sierra Leone has enacted the University Bill of 2021 into law, being an Act to repeal and replace the University of Sierra Leone Act 2005 (Act No.1 of 2005).
He maintained that the new Act provides for the continuation of the University of Sierra Leone, Njala University and the Ernest Bai Koroma University of Science and Technology and the establishment of the Milton Margai Technical University, the Eastern Technical University of Sierra Leone and the Kono University of Science and Technology.
As enshrined in the SLPP New Direction Manifesto, Prof. Wurie revealed, the new Act provides for the appointment of Chancellors of the Universities by the President, in effect stripping President Bio of his position as Chancellor in the Universities.
Prof. Wurie stated that before the Bill was taken to Parliament his Ministry and other stakeholders held a retreat and consultations were done with administrations, staff and students of public universities and polytechnics in order to explain to them the rationale behind the introduction of the New Universities Act of 2021 and also the benefit of the Act to their various institutions.
He disclosed that the Education Support Project worth $68million is funded by BADEA, OFID, SFD and GoSL and that $32million of the said amount will be allocated for the construction of the Kono University of Science and Technology. Signing of contracts with consultants and handing over of site to them were done in May and June respectively and the construction of Kono University will start in the first quarter of 2022.
The Minister noted that the University Act 2021provides for increased women participation in all statutory bodies of the universities and also caters for student representation at the Universities Courts.
“Short courses in Competency Based Education and Training (CBET) will be offered at Milton Margai Technical University with NCTVA certification,” he concluded.
(C) The Calabash Newspaper