Delegation From The Gambia Extolled Milton Margai Technical University on Its Unique Reform
A delegation from The Gambia headed by, Mr. Badara Diouf, Minister of Higher and Technical Education, on Tuesday 22nd March 2022, commended the Milton Margai Technical University (MMTU) for its quality and efficient services and that MMTU would be his first choice for his staff to be trained in Sierra Leone.
The delegation is on a study tour of Sierra Leone’s educational system, especially MMTU, to learn how it was transformed from a teacher training college to a Technical University, as well as its challenges and successes.
Mr. Badara Diouf said they looked at the West Africa Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) results in his country for the past three years to ascertain whether it was contributing to the quality of education, the quality of teachers, or the WASSCE marking scheme.
He further said that they were phasing out the teachers’ certificate course while retaining those in the field. At the same time, he went on, they were recruiting new ones for the Advanced Diploma to be introduced for the professional subjects.
He asserted that the entry requirements for the teacher education were too low, with some of their graduates being unemployed.
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He further noted that though teachers trained all other professionals yet only the Gambia College was training teachers. He dilated on the various courses being offered in The Gambia and underscored they needed mentorship from MMTU to address the challenges they were facing rather than going to the United Kingdom or America and recalled that The Gambia was once administered from Sierra Leone.
According to The Gambian Minister of Technical and Higher Education, it was high time Africans started learning from one another to address their challenges so as not to repeat the mistakes of the past as they changed the status quo to transform the lives of Gambian children. The Minister observed that Africans did not have a mindset of their own but depended on the British system, asserting that the problems in Sierra Leone are 90% similar to those in The Gambia.
The Vice-Chancellor and Principal of MMTU, Prof. Philip John Kanu welcomed and commended the Minister and delegation for choosing to learn from MMTU, stating that The Gambian Ambassador had planned to visit the MMTU Tourism school, enlightened that they developed objectives to transform the institution into a Technical University and that a good leader must think about others, rather than themself.
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He recalled that a team from The Gambia visited Sierra Leone last year, that many Gambians attended MMTU and other institutions of higher learning in Sierra Leone and now serving their country in various capacities and encouraged the delegation to feel at home. assuring that they would do their best for the delegation to accomplish its mission.
According to Prof. Kanu, the visit was an honor. He reiterated that MMTU, the premier teacher training college in Sierra Leone, has now been transformed to a Technical University, and promised that they would do their best to provide the necessary information and documentation to help transform Gambia institutions of higher learning.
He also informed about the transformation of various institutions of higher learning in Sierra Leone including the Freetown Teachers College that had been transformed to the Freetown Polytechnic, becoming an enviable institution.
The Ag Vice-Chancellor and Principal explained that plans were underway for some MMTU staff to visit The Gambia to understudy the tourism sector and affirmed that it was not just about training but hands-on practical work.
He intimated to the delegation that they would get a synopsis of the transformation of MMTU and highlighted teamwork, selflessness, taking tough decisions as well as the support from the government as some of their success stories.
He furthered that the Sierra Leone Minister of Education championed the transformation of MMTU. Had they waited to get all the staff at the time to commence the new Technical University s they would not have started the process. He revealed that they were now receiving a lot of applications from professors to join the academic staff.
He continued that MMTU also organized capacity-building training and that staff were trained on ICT for six weeks at the Blue Crest College.
The Ag Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Director of Academic Affairs of MMTU, Dr. Mohamed A. Jalloh, stated that a good leader should be firm and not arrogant and highlighted some of their successes to prudent financial management, staff recruitment after which they underwent orientation and induction underscoring that staff were also supervised and regularly assessed with quality assurance and meeting tight schedules and deadlines.
The Gambian delegation was led by Dr. Samba Moriba, Principal of the Freetown Polytechnic.