A matriculation ceremony for the 2023/2024 academic year of the Milton Margai Technical University (MMTU), welcoming over 5,500 students was held on Saturday, February 3, 2024, at the Peace Amphitheatre on the University’s Goderich campus in Freetown.
The event featured the First Lady, Dr. Fatima Bio, as the Guest Speaker, who in her address emphasized that Sierra Leone eagerly anticipates the contributions of these matriculants upon their graduation, encouraging them to take up various roles in advancing the country’s development.
“Inspiring the Next Generation of Female Leaders” was the theme for the graduation ceremony and during her keynote address, Dr. Fatima Bio congratulated the students on pursuing their dreams and professions. She stressed the importance of attending classes diligently, urging them to follow in the footsteps of past graduates, and emphasized the responsibilities that come with their new status, assuring the students that their dedication would lead to success in society.
Acknowledging the challenges faced by girls from birth, Dr. Fatima Bio expressed her determination to change the narrative surrounding women’s capabilities. She highlighted the Government’s commitment to human capital development, including initiatives such as Free Quality Education and efforts to address issues like Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, HIV/AIDS, and teenage pregnancy.
The First Lady also noted Government’s policies aimed at promoting gender equality, such as the 30% quota for women in governance, scholarships for girls in STEM fields and legislation supporting women’s empowerment. She encouraged the matriculants to value themselves, pursue their dreams and excel academically, emphasizing the importance of preparation for the challenges of the real world.
In his welcome statement, Dr. Mohamed Alie Jalloh, Deputy Vice Chancellor and Director of Studies, described the ceremony as a joyous milestone for the university. He encouraged the matriculants to persevere despite any obstacles they might encounter along their academic journey.
The oath-taking ceremony was conducted by Acting Senior Deputy Registrar, Ms. Melissa Kabia, and the formal pronouncement of university membership was made by Acting Registrar , Bockarie Sillah.
In her remarks, Dean Aminata Bangura urged the matriculants to remain focused and dedicated to their studies, emphasizing that challenges would shape their future endeavors.
Dr. Philip John Kanu, Vice Chancellor and Principal of MMTU, praised the First Lady’s contributions to the institution and highlighted ongoing renovations across all campuses. He commended the government for its support of education and encouraged the matriculants to prioritize their academic pursuits.
The ceremony included a procession of matriculants, department heads, and administrative staff, as well as ceremonial signings and musical performances. Ms. Elizabeth Sesay, MMTU Public Relations Officer, served as the Master of Ceremony.