By Amin Kef-Ranger
The College of Digital Excellence (CODE), one of the latest private tertiary institutions in the country that opened its doors in 2021 by providing world-class ICT and Management Education to young adults in Sierra Leone, held its maiden matriculation ceremony at the institution, situated on 36 Main Motor Road, Congo Cross in Freetown, on the 6th July, 2022.
A total of over two hundred students went through the matriculation process which is the formal process of entering the College as a candidate for a course after fulfilling certain academic requirements. It is a confirmation that they have been fully admitted by the institution followed by a pledge to abide by its rules and regulations.
In attendance were the Chairman of the Tertiary Education Commission, Professor Aliyageen M Alghali, Ing MA Jalloh, Director of the National Council for Technical/ Vocational and other Academic Awards (NCTVA), Nadia Parkinson of the Tertiary Education Commission, Director of CODE, Mrs. Niharika Agnani, Head of the Institution, Madhusudan Mukerjee, the students, well-wishers and members of the Fourth Estate.
Head of the Institution, Madhusudan Mukerjee, who moderated the program, welcomed all to what he referred to as an important milestone in the history of the College of Digital Excellence as students are about to be matriculated by the institution in order for them to become bona fide members of the college. He wished all the students a happy stay at CODE and expressed optimism that they will excel in their different courses of study.
In her statement, the Director of CODE, MS Niharika Agnani, wished all a very warm welcome to the maiden matriculation ceremony. She disclosed that CODE is the first educational project of the Choithram group of companies in Sierra Leone and is a private Tertiary Institution that opened its doors in 2021 by providing world-class ICT and Management Education to young adults in Sierra Leone.
She intimated that their collaboration with NIIT intends to impart the best and cutting-edge ICT education to learners in Sierra Leone adding how their vision is to provide a platform for the youth which they can use to launch themselves into the dynamic Digital World.
The Director maintained that one of their aims is to bring people and computers together through state-of-the-art infrastructure and facilities.
“CODE is committed to providing conducive teaching and learning environment to enable learners to excel in the various courses offered on campus,” she informed the audience of a core objective of CODE.
Succinctly, she said as the maiden Matriculation ceremony is celebrated, she would like to extend her good wishes to team CODE – Faculty and students.
She told the students that the matriculation ceremony marks the beginning of a new chapter in their lives stating how it is going to be a memorable one filled with lifelong friendships, connections, laughter, some challenges but most importantly lessons that will shape them and pave way for huge successes they can only begin to dream of.
“I am very confident that greatness lies within each and every one of you and you are in the right place to harness it for the greater good,” she expressed her conviction and admonished the students to use every resource available at the college to achieve their goals and contribute meaningfully to their communities after graduating from CODE.
Madam Agnani told all present that in the belief that CODE stands for College of Digital Excellence; the college exists to provide holistic education by promoting innovation and technology in learning, with the aim of developing well-rounded citizens to impact social, political, and economic aspects of the country.
“I call upon all registered students in all faculties- Software Engineering (Full Stack Development Program) and Infrastructure Management Program to rise and take the Matriculation Oath of the College of Digital Excellence,” she concluded by inviting the Chief Guest to administer the Matriculation OATH after which she declared that
all students are duly matriculated at the College of Digital Excellence for their studies.
Earlier, the Chairman of the Tertiary Education Commission, Professor Aliyageen M Alghali, congratulated the Management of CODE for the achievements made so far. He pointed out that he was not part of the team from his institution that assessed CODE before the institution commenced operations but said he is highly impressed with the conduciveness of the facility underscoring its fitness for educational pursuits.
Professor Alghali stated that courses that are skewed towards the provision of skills are very much important in contemporary societies highlighting how Sierra Leone is at a crossroads in a bid to develop a knowledge-based economy like Singapore. He maintained that CODE has the potential to become a leading IT College in the country.
Nadia Parkinson, an official of the Tertiary Education Commission (TEC), gave a brief synopsis of the establishment of the institution she works for. According to her, TEC was established in 2001 and is responsible for the development of tertiary education in Sierra Leone. She added that the objective of the Commission is to advise Government on tertiary education and to provide an institutional liaison with Government and other stakeholders organizations offering assistance in the tertiary education sector and ensure parity of the products of tertiary education institutions.
She told the students that starting from the basics is always the best thing to do adding how CODE was legally registered in the country. “I am really impressed with the number of students,” she expressed her admiration encouraging the students to focus on their studies and endeavor to move to higher heights.
Nadia said she is looking forward to seeing the graduating products of the college meaningfully contributing to development.
Ing MA Jalloh, Director of the National Council for Technical/ Vocational said CODE was accredited after a peer review process stating how the report that was generated was very excellent. He commended the facility hosting the College maintaining that it is good for the purpose of education and praised the competence of the members of staff.
He admonished the students to work hard and put God first to guide them going forward to enjoin them to always have their integrity intact and desist from untoward attitudes.
“There used to be three factors of production, land, labour and capital but there is a new one which is knowledge which you must build and embrace,” he added.
He advised them not to be frustrated along the way saying there will always be challenges but maintained that success is measured by the challenges that one overcomes stressing that experience is derived through grappling with challenges.
Ing Jalloh said as of now more premium is being placed on competency-based education and assessment of competence is done by looking at an individual’s performance contrary to what one claims he or she could do. He expressed the hope that the college will live up by its name and commended the Management of CODE for treating the nation with respect.
The high point of the ceremony was the signing of the college’s register by the students who went through the matriculation process.