By: State House Communications Unit on March 14, 2011.
President Ernest Bai Koroma over the weekend, as Chancellor of Njala University attends this year’s Congregation for the Conferment of Degrees and Award of Diplomas, Certificates and Other Distinctions at Njala University in Njala in which a total of 1,291 certificates, diplomas and degrees students and a total of 285 grandaunts received postgraduate degrees, including the award of 1 PhD degree in Education.
Giving his welcome address the Pro Chancellor of the University Dr Sandy A Bockarie said the occasion marked the duty and phase of student’s academic life and referred to it as a memorable one.
Chancellor of Njala University His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma Confer Degrees on Grandaunts at the University’s Convocation Ceremony
He noted that as the students leave they take with them top of the list Leadership roles as the success or failure of any administration depend on the leader. He described a good leader as one who is personate, stays calm and composed during difficulties and eager to do positive things.
According to Dr. Bockarie, they cherish the great leadership skills President Koroma had shown and exhibited since taking up office. He mentioned especially the determination of the President to get the University back from Freetown to Njala, adding that Sierra Leone is aware of President Koroma’s contribution to education. He begged government to still maintain the Granting Aid program.
In his congregational address the Vice-Chancellor and Principal Dr GMT Roberts thanked the Chancellor for honoring the invitation to attend and for his support in education.
He also thanked the American Ambassador, US, AID and UNDP Programme Managers, the ERSG, for their different roles played. He noted that the day being the 6th Congregation of the University is another moment to reflect on past performance, reaffirm fundamental Mission and chart a course for the coming air.
He reported that over the course of the past year the University‘s academic quality and reputation took an upward trajectory.
A Female Grandaunt Receives a Specimen of her Degree from Chancellor of NU His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma
In his address, speaking on the theme ‘The role of the University in promoting sustainable development’ the Chancellor of the university HIS Excellency DR Ernest Bai Koroma expressed how delighted he was for coming to confer certificates, Diplomas and Degrees to students graduating from what he referred to as a great University.
He noted that occasion like this afford us the opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of the University administration academic staff and students in harnessing the nation’s much needed human resource base for the implementation of our development aspirations and priorities. Adding that it is also time to recognize the huge sacrifices parents, guardians and other relatives make in supporting students to conclude their studies
President Koroma commended the Vice Chancellor and staff for their many achievements during their first year in office, observing that at a time like this when our nation is undertaking various ambitious developmental projects government cannot afford to slight the role the university can play to propel us forward. He said that he is aware that the motivation for the founding of this institution was to provide research facilities for oil palm production.
Another Grandaunt Receives a Specimen of his Degree from Chancellor of NU His Excellency the President, Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma
Today he noted this Institution has metamorphosed into a full fledged independent University. He said he hope that the change of status has not diverted the focus of the University from its original objective which is in fact what provides credibility to the institution.
According to President Koroma, the University Education should concentrate on specialized under –graduate and post graduate training whilst polytechnics should be allowed to satisfy the middle and lower level manpower needs of the nation by offering courses leading to qualifications, such as the T.C, H.T.C, O.N.C, H.N.D H.N.C and B.Ed..
“One of the essential functions of the University is to promote academic and intellectual excellence” he observed. This he said involves facilitating scholarly activities of teaching, learning and research by means of which higher education adds value to the individual, the community and the nation at large. The President called upon all to continue with their demonstrated determination and commitment to improving and the environment and standard of higher education in Sierra Leone.
The President reaffirmed the unwavering commitment of his government to higher education, due to the fact that it is the engine that drives change and development. Noting, that for his government’s Agenda for Change to achieve its desired objectives, the country needs trained, qualified and dedicated men and women who could serve as agents of change and help move the nation forward in its developmental Agenda.
President Koroma spoke highly of one honorary graduate, Dr Kandeh Yumkella, whom he referred to as a patriot with an exceptional record of service to human development throughout the world. He said honoring him proves that the University is once again celebrating its boundless service to humanity.
President Koroma congratulated the grandaunts, noting that they have been intellectually and morally refined and equipped with knowledge, skills and techniques to face the multitude of challenges confronting our society today and called upon them to live up to expectations, be modest and humble, be respectable and render help if one can.
Honorary Degree, Doctor of Science was conferred on Dr Kandeh Kolleh Yumkella whilst the award of Honours for the University Prize went to Emmanuel Katimu Anderson—B.Sc Hons in Nutrition and Dietetics.
ADDRESS BY THE CHANCELLOR OF NJALA UNIVERSITY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT, DR. ERNEST BAI KOROMA AT THE 2011 UNIVERSITY CONGREGATION AT THE NJALA CAMPUS ON SATURDAY, 12TH MARCH, 2011
- MR. VICE CHANCELLOR AND PRINCIPAL,
- MR. PRO CHANCELLOR,
- DEPUTY VICE CHANCELLORS,
- HEADS OF SCHOOLS,
- DEANS OF FACULTIES,
- HEADS OF DEPARTMENTS AND THE ENTIRE NJALA UNIVERSITY COMMUNITY,
- MINISTERS OF GOVERNMENT,
- HONOURABLE MEMBERS OF PARLIAMENT,
- YOUR EXCELLENCIES MEMBERS OF THE DIPLOMATIC AND CONSULAR CORPS
- DISTRICT CHAIRPERSONS AND COUNCILORS
- CHIEFS AND CHIEFDOM ELDERS
- PARENTS AND GUARDIANS
- DISTINGUISHED LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,
It is my pleasure to be here once more to confer Certificates, Diplomas and Degrees to students graduating from this great University. I am heartened by the warm welcome accorded me and my entourage on arrival at this campus and for this I want to thank the University community very profoundly.
Occasions like this afford us the opportunity to acknowledge the achievements of the University administration, academic staff and students in harnessing the nation’s much needed human resource base for the implementation of our development aspirations and priorities. It is also a time to recognize the huge sacrifices parents, guardians and other relatives make in supporting students to conclude their studies.
Mr. Vice Chancellor and Principal, let me congratulate you for the many achievements you have recorded within your first year in office. Surely you could not have done so much without the cooperation of your entire staff. I congratulate every single one of them particularly your deputies on your various campuses.
Mr. Vice Chancellor and Principal, Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen at a time like this when our nation is undertaking various ambitious developmental projects, one cannot afford to slight the role the University can play to propel us forward. It is for this reason that I have chosen as the theme for my address this morning: “The Role of the University in promoting Sustainable Development”.
In choosing this theme, I have considered very fervently that if we must develop as a nation, we must seek ways of creating effective links between science and technology and our day-to-day economic and social activities.
Furthering sustainable development means accepting responsibility for the well being of future generations. An affirmative and proactive attitude towards environmental sustainability must constitute an integral part of the moral foundation of our activities and our lifestyle. This translates into promoting sustainable development as an integral aspect of the educational agenda at all levels.
It follows therefore that sustainability requires that the university is better able to manage its resources whether natural or acquired in a manner that conforms to the needs of current users without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainability assumes that no resources are finite, and should therefore be used wisely and equitably.
Mr. Vice Chancellor and Principal, I am aware that the motivation for the founding of this institution was to provide research facilities for oil palm production. Today, this institution has metamorphosed into a full fledged independent University.
Mr. Vice Chancellor and Principal, I hope that the change of status has not diverted the focus of the University from its keystone which is in fact what provides credibility to the institution. I wish to urge staff and students to increase research and scholarship in order to contribute to greater knowledge generation and application.
For this reason, I believe University Education should concentrate on specialized under-graduate and post-graduate training whilst polytechnics should be allowed to satisfy the middle and lower level man-power needs of the nation by offering courses leading to qualifications such as the T.C., H.T.C., O.N.C., H.N.D., H.N.C., and B.Ed.. This will ensure maximum and effective utilization of scarce resources.
Mr. Vice Chancellor and Principal, one of the essential functions of the University is to promote academic and intellectual excellence. This involves facilitating scholarly activities of teaching, learning and research by means of which, higher education adds value to the individual, the community and the nation at large. This means that the measure of success of a university administration is the efficiency and effectiveness with which it facilitates and promotes these profoundly important functions of higher learning. Because of resource constraint globally, this is certainly not an easy task even in affluent industrial countries with longer traditions of university education. I therefore take this opportunity to encourage all of you in the University system to continue with your demonstrated determination and commitment to improving the environment and standard of higher education in Sierra Leone.
Mr. Vice Chancellor and Principal, cognizant of the imperative and crucial need for Government to support University Education, I would like to reaffirm the unwavering commitment of my Government to higher education, because we believe that it is the engine that drives change and development. For my Government’s Agenda for Change to achieve its desired objectives, the country needs trained, qualified and dedicated men and women who would serve as agents of change and help move Sierra Leone forward in its development Agenda.
Mr. Vice Chancellor and Principal, let me commend the University for tailoring their programmes in response to the needs of contemporary Sierra Leone. However, I urge faculty to play a more proactive role in sustainable national development. Our Universities should consider engaging in expert analysis of serious national policy issues within their competence. Such analysis can constitute the basis for public debates thus guiding the government, its organs and agencies and other stakeholders in the design and implementation of appropriate policy options for sustained national development.
Today, we have one honorary graduate: a distinguished alumnus of this University; a patriot with an exceptional record of service to human development throughout the world; Dr. Kandeh Yumkella. He is highly regarded within the UN system and beyond and has brought honour and pride to Sierra Leone. In honouring him, this University is once again celebrating its proud tradition of producing people of boundless service to humanity. I heartily congratulate you, Dr. Yumkella.
Mr. Vice-Chancellor and Principal, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, those who have worked hard to maintain the impressive image of this University all around the world do deserve our praise. It is no gainsaying that the quality and quantity of the products we demand from our Universities and other higher educational institutions can only be obtained from a dedicated, imaginative and courageous staff. Clearly, certain classes and types of training can be complex and their management sensitive, if not explosive. It is therefore, our duty as parents, citizens and government to give the University and its staff the utmost support and encouragement they need to discharge their responsibilities to this nation in an effective and efficient manner. We owe them a debt of gratitude and we as a nation honour and salute them. .
Mr. Vice-Chancellor and Principal, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, let me now congratulate our graduands of this year’s congregation. You have been intellectually and morally refined and equipped with knowledge, skills and techniques to face the multitude of challenges confronting our society today. The investments in you have been enormous and as potential agents of positive change in society, it is my ardent desire and hope that you will live up to our expectations. If we should move our nation forward, we need the right mix of talents like you to make your valuable contributions to national development.
I am enthused to note that this beautiful podium we have here today is the product of the voluntary work of the students themselves. Yes, youths who ask what they can offer their country and not what their country can do for them are true patriots. I salute you my dear students of this university.
My dear graduands take note that you have today taken a bold step towards nation building, so many challenges and temptations await you; and you must demonstrate self-discipline and patriotism in the discharge of your duties. The endorsement given to you today marks, for many, the end of formal studies. For others, it will be the beginning of a long process of exploration into the limitless domain of knowledge. Even when formal education ends, and when gainful occupation has been secured, the learning process will continue. There will be no escape from the lessons to be learnt from life.
I would now like to congratulate the parents and guardians for a job well done. Your sacrifices have yielded good fruit. My only advice to you is not to be too much in a hurry to harvest the fruits. Allow them to ripen before you start plucking them.
Starting life is most times not easy. Continue to support them even after they have graduated until they are well-established in society. I am very confident that they will respond to your calls when they are properly settled.
My last word is of course for the graduates. I advise you never to forget one thing; the university has given you knowledge; what you do with that knowledge is entirely your own responsibility and that is what will determine your station in life. Combine hard work with responsibility, be modest and humble, be respectful to your fellow citizens, help those in need where you can.
I thank you all for your attention.
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