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60% of UNIMAK students are from other regions says Vice Chancellor

60% of UNIMAK students are from other regions says Vice Chancellor

Vice Chancellor of University of Makeni (UNIMAK) Rev. Father Prof. Joseph Alimamy Turay has disclosed that 60% of the students attending his university are from South, East and Western Area respectively. (Photo: Rev. Father Prof. Joseph Alimamy Turay, Vice Chancellor)

He made this statement in an exclusive interview with this press recently at the university auditorium in Makeni.

Father Turay explained that one of their major challenge as a university was how to encourage student in the northern region to attend the university. He noted that on several occasions they had been visiting secondary schools across the region to educate the school administration and the pupils on the importance of attaining a university degree and the advantage of them making use of their own university. “We introduce scholarship scheme for clever female student in the north, and also offer special programmes for northern pupils so as to encourage them to continue their education to university level,” he said.

Father Turay revealed that they have issued out dozens of scholarships to female students in the region and they are ready to give more to students so as to encourage them to prioritise their education. “We are doing our best as a university to change the mind set of northerners who are with the perception that university education is only for men not women. It’s a challenging task, but we are prepare to change the minds of the people by engaging the public on mass sensitization and showcasing the importance of educating a woman, by allowing their daughters to serve as ambassadors for the university,” he said, adding that by so doing, it would inspire the parents to send their children to a university.

This he said would not only create competition among the pupils but would also encourage the parent to force their children to attain a university degree.

Father Joe Turay admitted that at some point he fills disappointed when he realised that most of the student at the university are from other region, “I am not against the other students they are all Sierra Leonean, but we need to capacitate our own children, so they will know the importance of education in this modern age, and also for them to embrace education and compete with other regions”.

Adama Kamara a resident of Makeni, admitted that northerners are more in to business and farming, as it would take them time to change their perception. “Education for women was not something we use to accept, we use to think that a woman no matter how educated she is, she will end up being a house wife, so why waste money on them?” she questioned.

However, she assures that they have put those mentality behind them as now they encourage the children especially girls to get university education. She revealed that two of her daughters are presently reading at the University of Makeni and she is proud of what they have become.

According to a student of the Mass Communication Department Simithi Adama Kamara, she explained that she fills proud as a woman to attend UNIMARK as her knowledge and understanding has broadened.

She revealed that she is considered as a role model ion her community as most of the other girls see her as an inspiration to education.

She commends the university administration for establishing a university in Makeni and for providing quality education for the pupils.

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