The Ministry of Technical and Higher Education (MTHE) has introduced online voting system in the conduct of Students’ Union (SU) elections at the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS), after it was first introduced at Institute of Public Administration and Management ((IPAM-USL).

The online voting for COMAHS students’ union president took place at Connaught campus, Lightfoot Boston Street in Freetown.

The online voting system was done by MTHE’s Directorate of Technology, whereas the SU online voting system has allowed COMAHS to be the second higher learning institution in Sierra Leone to set the stage for a digitized electioneering system, creating an ambiance for a peaceful exercise of students’ franchise.

Aside from being excellently transparent, the system has equally enabled students to be anywhere and conveniently cast their votes for their candidates, unlike in previous years when there would be huge number of students clustered around the campus premises, causing chaos and vandalizing campus property.

According to MTHE’s Director of Technology, Victor Sesay, the event was the cradle of innovation, as COMAHS has been the second university to use the online voting system. He encouraged the University Administration and students to embrace the advantage, adding that the days of chaotic elections at COMAHS have been laid to rest.

He said he intended to conduct the online voting approach in other higher learning institutions of the country during their own SU elections in the likes of Fourah Bay College (FBC).

During the election, COMAHS students cast their vote for Brima Ketty Conteh who is a 4th year medical student. The incumbent president said he was elected as president because the student union government has a lot of responsibilities and his government will have a big impact on student life and experience.

“I want to promote the academic interest and personal welfare of students, to seek the interests of all devoid of any malice, religion, tribe social and political differences. I just want to serve,” he promised.

President Brima Ketty Conteh said he has seen how easy it was for students to be suddenly disengaged from the Student Representative Council (SRC) activities, adding that every student pays his or her SRC fee, but never feel like they are members of the SRC.

“My incoming executive and I will prioritize our work to narrow the gap between SRC and the administration. SRC-COMAHS and the Ministry of Higher Tertiary and Technical Education (MHTTE), and SRC-COMAHS and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation (MHS). I feel that if we work hard and connect these institutions to develop COMAHS, we can see a positive change. My team and I will create committees in different areas such as education, health, opportunity desk and infrastructure to facilitate discussion around students’ concerns, knowledge sharing, and improvement of professional skills,” he said.
He said within his first ten weeks in office, he would open a call for an independent committee to thoroughly go through the constitution and pick up any conflicting clause and move forward with reviewing it.

He added that he would appoint electoral commissioners with integrity to ensure no bias in elections and for faster decision-making around issues that would create unrest in the college as a result of elections.

He continued that he would ensure all SRC executive minutes are posted on WhatsApp groups, Facebook, google drive and emails, so that student can know what they are doing.

He said detailed financial report made available and accessible to all students because they have the right to know where their student union fees are going.