Meeting President Koroma, reaching IAMTECH
I was in Sierra Leone for few days and I must state, Sierra Leone is such a beautiful country that one could not help but invite tourists to pay a visit and have time along our beautiful beaches. During my two weeks long stay, I was able to learn about the commitment and readiness of Sierra Leoneans to continue supporting the government in pushing the country’s socio-economic and political development. I had the opportunity of meeting a number of people who have been playing a crucial role in Sierra Leone sustainable development.
Interview with President Koroma
My meeting with President Koroma was a great honor for me, taking into account the positive developments happening back home and the desire on my part to ask him a few questions as a journalist. That said, the media friendly nature of President Koroma and his government has helped in wooing more support for him. Since his days in opposition as Opposition Leader, Hon Ernest Bai Koroma has been a man of the media, having time to pick up his phone and call. This is unlike past Presidents in the country. My meeting with him therefore was very timely and appreciated.
On Tuesday 10th April, President Koroma told me that people all over the country have demonstrated their appreciation for what his government has been able to achieve, especially in terms of the ‘Agenda for Change’. For him “the evidence is all over the country and people have been appreciative of our achievements as a government…” and as a government, they have been able to sustain their progress. President Koroma was reasonably happy with what they (NEC) have done for they have behaved in a professional manner and he is hopeful they will continue with the process in that manner to it final conclusion.
He knows he has been working in the interest of the people and that people have appreciated his good works. He knows, in politics, an opponent should not be underestimated, so he can’t give a chance to whosoever s contesting again him. But the point is, he has made a mark upon which he is going to be reelected this year.
IAMTECH, serving country and humanity
I also had time to visit IAMTECH, in the east of Freetown, being one of those institutes also contributing to the country’s development process, from the perspective of its contribution to the nation’s human resource capacity. The development’s agenda of Sierra Leone could now be summed up from the perspective of what is contained in the government’s Agenda for Change.
One of the main components of the Agenda for Change is the country’s educational sector.
Over the years, government has been putting structures in place aimed at addressing the human resource needs of the country. We have also witnessed a number of institutions supporting the country’s desire for an improvement in its educational sector; one of such institution is the Institute of Advanced Management and Technology, also known as IAMTECH. IAMTECH exists to work and help in the area of reducing illiteracy rate in Sierra Leone. Formerly known as the Kissy Computer Training Institute and established in 1991, IAMTECH came about with the aim of technically preparing responsible and motivated Sierra Leoneans to different areas of employment. It was also with the desire to serve the community by further providing an alternative education forum for students and to impart knowledge. A brief history of IAMTECH shows that it has continued to contribute remarkably to Sierra Leone’s human resources.
I had the opportunity of meeting Dr. Abie Paula Kamara, Principal of IAMTECH. She took me through what her institution has been doing in terms of contributing to national development. With courses in Logistics and Procurement Management, Information Systems and Market Management, Dr. Abie Paula Kamara proudly told me, IAMTEC is a tertiary institution to behold in Sierra Leone. Students from the institute have been lucky to be employed after completion of studies, in areas relating to banking, mining and procurement among others.
Despite this positive trend, she spoke of challenges they are faced with, as an institution, ranging from government support to the aspect of government grants to students. “Even as we are always contributing to national development through the training of students in different skills, we still have few challenges; we need to look at the government subvention that is normally given to us…” For her, even though it is encouraging that government is giving them subvention, there is the need for the ministry of education to look at the amount given them. She also calls for the need to take into account students in technical institutes, when giving government grants. “Our existence has been helping in reducing illiteracy level in the country. It will be good therefore, if government considers our students for grants”, she said working with St. Clement University and an affiliate to N’jala University IAMTECH some years back launched their distance learning programme and on the 7thApril, 2012 held its graduation ceremony for the confirmation of degrees and award of diplomas and certificates to 112 students who completed courses in Development Studies, Human Resource Management, Business Administration, Accounting and Finance, Applied Economics and Marketing, Logistics and Procurement, Networking and a host of other programs. This, according to Professor Paul Kamara CEO of the institute, is in line with the desire to develop the country.
IAMTECH is registered with the Ministry of Education in Sierra Leone. is also registered with the Tertiary Education Commission and it is an institution that demands high academic standards.
Pa John Baimba Sesay
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