Ahead of University Status…
By Sumner Kangbap
The administration of the Milton Margai College of Education & Technology (MMCE&T) polytechnic in its stride to complement the effort of government for quality education and to empower the middle-level manpower needs of the country on Thursday 17th October, 2019 ended a retreat for academic staff to showcase what they have been doing the precious academic year and their plans for the new academic year in order to improve their academic work as the college is working towards upgrading its status to a technical university.
The administration also commissioned two new buses for staff of the three campuses of Goderich, Congo Cross and Brookfields to ease their transportation constraints. The retreat also outlined and discussed the college’s Strategic Plan for the next five years.
During the retreat held at the college’s Great Hall, Goderich campus, the administration, led by the Acting Principal, Dr. Philip John Kanu revealed that when he took up office a year ago, there were lots of challenges regarding the running of the college including the poor state of the facilities and outlined the successes his new administration have achieved in face-lifting and transforming the entire Goderich campus. Dr. Philip John Kanu stated that the objective of the retreat was to present to the academic staff the achievements they have made so far as a team during the last academic year because all of them worked very hard to make sure that they achieved these goals.
Highlighting some of the successes achieved during the last academic year, he catalogued the setting up of a website creation wherein aspiring students can now apply online without going through the old process of buying forms, procurement of two buses for staff to facilitate their movement considering the challenges they encountered with transportation.
He further stated that within the one year period of his appointment, his administration rehabilitated all the toilet facilities, drastically improved the lighting system within the campuses, classrooms and the hostels as well as purchased enough chairs for the students thus creating a conducive learning environment, secured the college’s lands in different parts of the country to be used for agricultural practical and also built the capacity of a good number of lecturers, administrative and even junior staff citing as example, a junior staff presenting studying in China.
Dr. Philip John Kanu further disclosed that when he took up office last year from the previous administration, he met liabilities of over Le. 12 billion debt but that with the commitment and dedication to service to the college, he has been able to pay over Le5 billion of the debt and encouraged staff to be loyal and committed to the administration so that together they can undertake more development projects to lift the college to higher heights.
He also thanked and appreciated all staff members for the tremendous successes they have achieved over the past one year, disclosed that since the college would soon be approved to be transformed to a technical university, the main focus now is to upgrade the college to offer technical courses that would be beneficiary to the country according to government’s priority.
According to Dr. Kanu, when the college would have finally been upgraded to a technical university, their main focus for the future is to position themselves to establish centers to train lecturers and instructors to handle the middle-level manpower needs of the country but observed that that notwithstanding, the college would maintain its focus on teacher, technical and tourism education.
He enlightened further that for the new academic year, the college would also be focusing on research work and proposal writing to mobilize resources for the running of the college, quality assurance, monitoring the delivering of lectures, producing and conducting examinations and publication of results on time.
He commended and appreciated the government for the tremendous support towards the college, the supervisory Ministry of Technical and Higher Education, technical staff, Ministry of Finance for their immense support to the college and his administration disclosing that when the college would have been transformed to a technical university, they would focus on technical courses like Carpentry, Masonry, producing clothing and textile, fridge and air-conditioning, auto-electrical engineers, shoemaking, landscaping, horticulture, food technology emphasizing that these are the virgin areas that need to be addressed to boost the country’s economy.
The Acting Principal reiterated that the main focus of the college is tourism, technical studies and education underlining that the college has always been renowned for teacher education disclosing that this year they would conduct tracer study of all graduates who have attended the college over the years to see how they are doing in their respective fields of work.
In his keynote address, Dr. Victor Massaquoi, staff of the Technical Team in the Ministry of Education, asserted that for economic growth, tertiary and women’s education are very pivotal noting that for education to thrive, there should be an overhauling in the educational system of the country.
According to Dr. Massaquoi, the Ministry is putting certain measures in place to address the educational system in the country like Quality Assurance in Education explaining that the Ministry is putting a robust mechanism for quality assurance that behooves all stakeholders to put premium of this aspect as well as look into the welfare of lecturers and research teaching.
He also disclosed that the Ministry would be addressing Quality in Research i.e. what can lecturers do for quality of research and produce noting that they are pushing seriously for the college to be transformed to a technical university in addition to discussing malpractices within the tertiary education system and Quality in Publication and Quality of Products.
He pleaded with staff to be patient with the college administration that is working assiduously to make sure their conditions of service are met.
Commissioning the two buses, Dr. Victor Massaquoi stated that he hopes the buses would be used for their intended purpose and wished all fruitful deliberations at the retreat.