By Foday Moriba Conteh
The College of Digital Excellence (CODE), one of the latest private tertiary institutions providing world-class ICT and Management Educational Courses in the country has on Friday 27th October, 2023 held its 2nd Matriculation ceremony for over 200 students at the institution’s premises situated on 36 Main Motor Road, Congo Cross in Freetown.
The matriculation ceremony, marking the formal process of students entering the College for various courses after fulfilling certain academic requirements, is a traditional event that confirms that they have been fully admitted by the institution during which the students make a pledge to abide by the rules and regulations governing the institution.
Present during the ceremony were the Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Dr. Haja Ramatulai Wurie, the Acting Executive Secretary at Tertiary Education Commission, Josephus Sawyer, Chief Executive Officer, Rise Radio, Asmaa James, the Verification Officer at the National Council for Technical/ Vocational and other Academic Awards (NCTVA), Komba Moiwa, the Founder/Director of CODE, Niharika Agnani, Head of the Institution, Madhusudan Mukerjee, the students, well-wishers.
In his address, the Co-founder and Director of CODE, Niharika Agnani, taking a moment to reflect on the significance of the ceremony said matriculation is not just a formality but symbolizes the beginning of an extraordinary adventure and marks the moment when promising students become an integral part of their academic family.
The Director said each one of the students brings unique talents, dreams and aspirations and together they form a diverse community with the potential to achieve great things.
She explained that the quality of digital excellence was founded with a vision, a vision that goes beyond traditional education. “We aim to nurture the next generation of digital leaders, innovators and problem solvers. In a world increasingly defined by technology and the digital landscape the importance of your education here cannot be overstated. Our curriculum is designed to empower you with knowledge and skills that are not only relevant today but also adaptable for the challenges of tomorrow.”
Niharika Agnani, emphasized that as the students step into the college there is a responsibility that comes with the privilege noting that the digital age has presented them with countless opportunities but it has also raised complex ethical, social and environmental questions.
She therefore encouraged them to not only be proficient in their chosen fields but also to be conscious and be responsible digital citizens as well as entreating them to embrace the challenges, celebrate the victories and always strive for excellence.
Josephus Sawyer, Acting Executive Secretary at Tertiary Education Commission, established that the College of Digital Excellence (CODE) is a certified accredited institution of the Tertiary Education Commission.
He explained that CODE’s application to operate as an educational institution was given due consideration and a team of experts were put together that visited the institution for assessment and suitability accreditation.
Josephus Sawyer added that accreditation was granted at the initial stage for a Category C institution, which they consider for Diploma and Higher National Diploma.
However, he said it did not stop there as from 2021 to date the institution, as an exemplary force, has grown to another level and has aspired for another category, which is Category B, to offer undergraduate programs.
The Verification Officer at the National Council for Technical/ Vocational and other Academic Awards (NCTVA), Komba Moiwa commended CODE for creating the platform towards empowering youths by providing them the skills and knowledge that will transform the country for the better.
He said that the matriculation ceremony marks an important step in their journey towards personal development and fulfilment as well as encouraging the students to be very committed in their studies which he said is the only secret to success.
The Chief Executive Officer of Rise Radio, Asmaa James in her snap remarks also applauded CODE for its contributions towards empowering young people with ICT skills and knowledge which she noted is very important in the current world of digitalization.
She encouraged the students, especially girls, to be focused and consider themselves as the nation’s assets.
In her keynote address, Dr. Haja Ramatulai Wurie, said students are the human resources of a nation, and few stand out to support their skills, knowledge and innovation that will drive the country forward, referring to the investment as human development, saying it is also one of the five strategic areas that the Government has identified.
She added that such is why institutions like CODE fit into the performance of a very important educational role which holds the key to unlocking the vast potential of resources noting that it is through education that students will be equipped with the skills and knowledge needed to participate in a digital economy.
The Minister expressed hope that the curriculum was tailored to meet the needs of the digital era; designed to empower the students with the tools required to thrive within such a dynamic landscape; and to position them to not just be consumers of technology, but to also be innovators and leaders in the digital sector which can be achieved through a concerted effort.
She said the Government is dedicated to fostering collaboration so they are looking forward to potential collaboration with CODE, underscoring that as a Government they believe in strong partnerships between the Government and private sector educational institutions – partnerships that will drive the digital initiative, especially when the job market in digital fields are expanding exponentially.
The Minister pointed out that there is a growing demand for professionals in areas like data science, cyber security, artificial intelligence and software development.
Dr. Haja Ramatulai Wurie ,therefore, reminded the students that their education is a ticket to a world of opportunities stressing how it is also essential for them to remember that learning does not end after graduation as the digital landscape is ever evolving and continuous skills development is a necessity, thus encouraging all of them to seek lifelong learning and the pursuit of knowledge throughout their careers.
She reiterated that as a Government their focus is on digital inclusion which ensures that no one is left behind; hence it is imperative to understand that human capital development and digitalization are both core to the national development agenda.
The highpoint of the ceremony was the signing of the college’s register by the students who went through the matriculation process