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Embassy moves to regularise intake of students in Saudi

Embassy moves to regularise intake of students in Saudi

In a move to regularise the intake of students into the Islamic University of Madinatul Munawarrah, Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has addressed letters to the University Authorities to reintroduce the erstwhile seminars which the University conducted annually in all West African countries, including Sierra Leone for the selection of students.   (Photo: Former Prexy of the SLeone StudeAnts Union, Dr. Ahmad Ramadan Jalloh, (L) making his contribution in the meeting)

In his letters to His Eminence the Rector (Principal) of the University, Dr. Muhammad Bin Ali Al Aqla and the Dean of Admissions, Dr. Obaid Bin Ali Al Abaid, H.E Ambassador Wusu B. Munu implored them to re introduce the seminars.

Current President of the newly elected SLeone Students Union Preso Sahid Bah

The seminars were held in collaboration with the Ministry of Education of the respective countries, at the end of which students were selected for various courses within the University.

The selection process was however disrupted during the 10 years civil war in Sierra Leone, i.e. from 1991 to 2001 and has up to date not yet been regularized.  Therefore, it is difficult to know how students from Sierra Leone have since been selected.

It is clear however that the Ministry of Education in Sierra Leone is not in any way involved in the present selection process and therefore is unable to know how many of its nationals are as at present studying in the Universities of Madinatul Munawwarah and other Saudi and Gulf States Universities.

When he took up office in 2008, Ambassador Munu realized the anomaly in the selection of students from Sierra Leone who are enjoying scholarships offered by the respective institutions in the name of Sierra Leone and in accordance with the bilateral relations existing between Sierra Leone and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.  In order to rectify this anomaly, Ambassador Munu addressed a letter to the University Authorities which he mandated his Minister Counsellor, Mr. Ibrahim S. Yilla to deliver, appealing to them to resume the erstwhile seminars for selection of students in collaboration with the Ministry of Education in Sierra Leone.

The two letters were delivered on Monday, 14th March, 2010, at the Madinatu Munawwarah campus, at which members of the selection Boards for African countries were present.

In the letters, His Excellency the Ambassador extended greetings from His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, President of the Republic of Sierra Leone to the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz through the Rector and other Universities and thanked the King for the continued assistance which students from Sierra Leone continue to receive in the University.

The Rector of the University, Dr. Al -Aqla (L) and Minister Counsellor, Mr. Ibrahim S. Yilla (R) listening to the Selection Committe For African Students

In response, the Rector expressed appreciation to His Excellency the Ambassador for bringing to light this anomaly in the recruitment of students in Sierra Leone and promised to rectify the situation as soon as possible.  He also promised in collaboration with the Dean of Admissions to increase the number of students accepted in the University as from next year.

The Director of Admissions informed the Minister Counsellor about the present time and procedure of recruitment which he said should be immediately after every ‘Hajj’.

The requirements for admission into the University, he said, were as follows:

  1. School Certificate
  2. Transcript
  3. Testimonial
  4. I.D. Card and Passport 2 Recommendations from two Prominent ‘Sheiks’ in Sierra Leone, and
  5. 4 Passport size photographs

The Director further informed that about 162 students have been trained from Sierra Leone since the establishment of the University in 1960.  The current number of students enrolled from Sierra Leone, is 72.

The University offers Bachelor of Arts Degrees and also Master’s and Doctorate Degrees. There is also a one year diploma program that can be obtained after a student successfully graduates from the Bachelors program.

Alhaji Jalloh, Information Attaché, Sierra Leone Embassy, Saudi Arabia

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