Performance contracts for tertiary institutions
Freetown: The Human deficit of Sierra Leone has been identified as a major challenge to the country’s development. (Photo: The meeting in progress at State House)
To address this problem, State House, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology (MEST) have engaged Principals and Heads of Tertiary Institutions to sign Performance Contracts with His Excellency, The President.
The second meeting at State House to achieve this objective has been held by Vice-Chancellors, Principals and Heads of the constituent colleges and campuses of the Universities of Sierra Leone and Njala, Eastern and Northern Polytechnics, Milton Margai College of Education and Technology, the Tertiary Education Commission, NCTVA and Experts of the Strategy and Policy Unit (SPU)
SPU Director Professor V. E. Strasser-King, who chaired the meeting said Performance Contracts were necessary to monitor the activities of the institutions, based on mutually agreed targets, as a way of ensuring accountability to the Government, the people and their Clients, including Students and other strategic partners.
Performance Contracts, he said, will also help the tertiary institutions themselves to develop in line with international standards.
The SPU Director disclosed the establishment of an expert Committee on Tertiary institutions’ management and Performance Contracting to assist at both the Negotiation and Evaluation levels of the process being initiated.
A detailed presentation of the Performance Contracting system, covering the methodology, applications to all aspects of the management of Tertiary institutions, specific benefits to the institutions and the country, challenges and examples from other countries currently using it was made by the Director of Operations in the Office of the Chief of Staff, Mr. Abdul Rahman Sowa.
Mr. Sowa said Performance Contracts will go a long way to build public trust in tertiary institutions, especially through the quarterly assessments which will serve as Progress Indicators.
Representatives of the Tertiary Institutions sought clarifications and received assurances on the continued independence of the Tertiary Education Commission, as well as the complementary role of Performance Contracting in achieving the objectives of the Commission. Transparency, Accountability, Staff and Student indiscipline and the efficient management of examinations and assets were cited as challenges facing the institutions. They requested that the presentation on Performance Contracting be made to the appropriate staff of individual Tertiary Institutions to facilitate implementation.
In his closing remarks, State House Chief of Staff Kelfala Marrah expressed satisfaction with the response of the Tertiary institutions and promised to draw from the best practices and take performance contracting forward.
He observed that the country is currently facing a huge deficit in technical human resources and there was an urgent need to link it to the exploitation and management of the county’s strategic resources to avoid dependency on expatriates.
Describing the situation as a huge challenge, the Chief of Staff stressed that half measures can no longer work and there was an urgent need for an Academic and Private Sector Forum to find solutions to the problems.
The meeting resolved that both the Tertiary Institutions and the Strategic and Policy unit work toward the negotiating, developing and signing individual contracts by the end of February, 2012.
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