SEPTEMBER 8, 2014 By John Baimba Sesay
A total of 30 Sierra Leonean students on Friday (5th September) arrived in the People’s Republic of China to further their education in various fields of academia. The students were received by Sierra Leone’s Embassy staff and a cross section of the Sierra Leone Students Union executive in China.
On the day of their arrival, the students were dispersed to their various universities across China. Out of the 30, two students will be pursuing Ph.D., seven will read for Bachelor’s degrees and 21 will pursue Master’s degrees in different fields.
With regards to their distribution across China, four will be studying in Beijing, one at the Capital University of Economics and Business, and the other at the China Foreign Affairs University, Beijing, whilst the rest were sent to various universities outside Beijing.
The students’ areas of study include Communication/Information Technology, International Relations, Public Administration, Engineering, Clinical Medicine and Agriculture, among others.
Delivering a message on behalf of His Excellency Ambassador Victor Bockarie Foh, acting Head of Chancery, Augusta Akibo-Jones informed the students that Sierra Leone was in great appreciation of China’s support to the country, not least in her education, infrastructure and health sectors.
The Ambassador, Mrs. Akibo-Jones said, is grateful to China especially with its support in the fight against the Ebola viral disease, and encouraged the students to give their best to their studies. She admonished them to strive to contribute to Sierra Leone’s development when they return home after their studies.
Reacting to the arrival of the students, Secretary of the Sierra Leone Students Union in China, Adikali Sesay, a Ph.D. student in Beijing, thanked the two governments “for the very outstanding people-to-people and conventional diplomatic ties” between them, which he said continue to yield positive fruits.
Sesay paid glowing tributes to Sierra Leone’s Minister of Education, Dr. Minkailu Bah and Ambassador Foh for their hard work and dedication in securing more scholarships for Sierra Leoneans to study in China.
“The Embassy of Sierra Leone in Beijing has been exceptional in coordinating students’ affairs, for which we are grateful,” he said. “Despite the Ebola menace currently in Sierra Leone and the West African sub-region, the governments of Sierra Leone and China did all they could to ensure that Sierra Leonean students come here to further their studies as usual. I urge you (students) to work hard and prove your worth.”