By Foday Moriba Conteh
The Ministry of Employment, Labour and Social Security, in collaboration with the NEKOTECH Center of Excellence and SOS Global Investment, concluded a one-day readiness class and info seminar on October 24, 2023. The event, held at the Bintumani Conference Room 1 in Aberdeen, Freetown, aims to guide Sierra Leonean students in securing Pre-Scholarship and no-collateral educational loans for USA Master’s Degree programs, offering 1000 scholarship opportunities.
In his remarks, the Minister of Employment, Labour and Social Security, Mohamed Raman Swaray, expressed appreciation to SOS Global Investment for this initiative and his predecessor for laying the platform, adding that in the past, the space for post-graduate degree was a big challenge of which he used the opportunity to admonish students to grab the opportunity.
He said that President Bio is a man with vision and loves education, and therefore made it his flagship project in his first term, adding that despite focusing on his Big Five Initiatives, which includes Feed Salone and Job Creation, the President still puts premium on education.
Mohamed Raman Swaray maintained that as a Government they are ready to work closely with NEKOTECH Center of Excellence and SOS Global Investment in order to ensure that the proposed 1000 scholarships for Sierra Leonean students come to fruition.
He encouraged Sierra Leonean students to make use of the opportunity and the chances provided, as Education is the key and the President is a man who has laid his life for education and wants to see every young meaningful Sierra Leonean be educated.
Mohamed Raman Swaray maintained that the scholarship is going to last till 2025, which is very helpful to the free quality education, and citizens should know that the students that are applying should stay focused, adding that the entire program will go through a rigorous process.
On his part, the Presidential Adviser on Employment, Alpha Timbo, recalled that in 2018 President Bio announced his determination for Human Capital Development, and critics thought it was a pipe dream, but today, a lot has been achieved.
He stressed that in ensuring that the Human Capital Development is achieved, His Excellency introduced the Free Quality Education, which is now operational, with notable results. This was achieved by the team that the President appointed.
Alpha Timbo expressed optimism in the efficiency of Minister Swaray, whose exemplary performance in the Information Ministry is now being replicated in the Employment Ministry.
He stressed that they will continue to give the Ministry the support he needs to deliver on his mandate, adding that they are quietly identifying sectors for the achievement of this mandate of providing employment. With respect to the current scholarship program, he maintained that they are strengthening collaboration with the various line Ministries and the US Embassy is to ensure that the program becomes a reality.
In his statement, Managing Director, SOS Global Investment, Umaru Jalloh, said the NEKOTEH Center of Excellence and SOS Global Investment are working on a guide to Prep scholarship with no collateral Education loans to pursue USA Master’s Degree for over 1000 Sierra Leonean students, adding that there will be a Special Edition of Readiness Class and INFO SEMINAR, which will enable the students in the application process.
He said that the readiness class forms part of the symbolic cheque presented to His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio about a week ago where there is a 1000 slot for Sierra Leonean Students to study in the United States of America and Canada, adding that the seminar is a manifestation to show Sierra Leoneans what they presented to the President has started which will now enable them to apply in order to be part of the opportunity.
The Managing Director maintained that for any student to join the NekoTech Virtual Readiness Class, they should pay $250 and enjoy all the benefits, which is free Prep School Scholarship, worth $2,500 up to $100,000, with No-collateral loan for 2 years’ Master’s Degree in STEM/AI/MBA in USA.
He concluded by commending the Ministry of Employment, Labour, and Social Security for the partnership and used the opportunity to call on Sierra Leonean students with first degrees to grab the opportunity to study in USA, adding that it will help them if they make good use of the opportunity.
The Associate Director, Northern America and UK Recruitment of EDUCO USA and SOS Nekotech USA Education Partner, Tyson Manering said that international students often wish to join a STEM-designated program because it will allow them to qualify for 36 months of work experience after graduation.
He said that students should find a university matching their interests and budget and that it is okay to consider universities that they haven’t heard of but encouraged them to work closely with SOS Nekoteck as their counsellors.
Tyson Manering revealed that there are nearly 5,000 higher educational institutions in the US with 20 million students in total and over 1.1 million international students and that 42,518 students from Africa growing at 9% per year.
The program also includes testimonial videos featuring current beneficiaries of the Work/Study initiative, a detailed presentation on how the programme operates, as well as a step-by-step guide on the application processes, including insights on accessing non-collateral loans with an aim to provide valuable information and resources for individuals interested in the Work/Study programme.