February 27, 2019
Vice Principal, Eastern Polytechnic, Gbessay Y. Ahmadu, has told Concord Times that they were in dire need of infrastructure, as they currently lack enough classrooms.
Eastern Polytechnic has three campuses in Kenema city, Bunumbu and Woama in Kailahun and Kono districts respectively.
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Vice Principal Ahmadu, who made the above disclosure in an interview with Concord Times in his office last Friday (22nd February 2019), also disclosed that they lack enough space for the polytechnic’s laboratory.
“We have done our best to construct a new structure for the science laboratory, but we do not have funds to buy its required equipment. For the science and technical training, we need laboratory and workshop equipment and materials. Our only remedy is that most of the hospitals that we send some of our students for internship have equipment which we don’t have,” he said.
He said the fees that students pay were very minimal and that they rely heavily on government’s support through subvention.
According to the Vice Principal, four types of training programs are offered by his institution, which include pre-service, in-service, distance and extended programs, noting that the Kenema campus does all the above programs, but Bunumbu and Woama campuses only offer distance and in-service.
“The pre-service is the regular program and the in-service is meant for qualified working staffs, who need to be upgraded. For the distance program, students stay in their communities and schools during holidays and get their trainings,” he said.
He said plans were underway for his institution to start offering entrepreneurship training, so as to enable students to gain self-employment.
“We are of the belief that the government alone cannot provide jobs for all the graduates in this country, so we want them to be self-employed,” he said.
He disclosed that they worked in collaboration with the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences (COMAHS) to train medical laboratory technicians.
“We are also affiliated with Fourah Bay College (FBC), University of Sierra Leone (USL), to train students in Bachelor of Engineering. We are affiliated with Njala University for three degree programs, which are Bachelor of Science in Physics, Chemistry, biology, mathematics, agricultural sciences and Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Management and Bachelor of Education-for students specialising in school teaching subjects,” he explained.
He said his institution was also offering Higher National Diplomas (HND) and other certificates, which were awarded by the National Council for Technical and Vocational Training Awards (NCTVA).
The Vice Principal disclosed that they have recently realised an increase in the enrolment of students yearning for their programs, adding that their total enrolment was now 3,500.