By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
The Minister of Technical and Higher Education has called on all staff in all Higher and Technical Education Institutions who acquired their certificates, diplomas and degrees in unaccredited institutions to resign within one week.
The ministry issued the one week ultimatum yesterday, May 12, via a press statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Gilbert Cooper.
“Following a joint communique on unaccredited universities and award of fake degrees in sierra Leone on Tuesday 26th April, 2022, all academic and administrative staff in Higher and Technical Education Institutions who acquired their certificates, diplomas and degrees in unaccredited institutions and used same for employment and or promotion in their respective institutions are to resign within the next one week,” the statement reads.
The ministry further stated that from May 12 to Wednesday 26 May, 2022, any staff who fails to comply with the instruction will be in breach of the joint communique and will be summarily dismissed.
Months ago, a video made the rounds on social media depicting certain individuals being accredited with PhD certificates somewhere in Waterloo, Western Rural by a fake and unaccredited university called ‘Dominion Christian University’.
The issue however, created lots of debate, especially when names of government officials and other individuals holding major public offices were mentioned to have also gone through the fake university. Institutions and individuals called for the academic credentials of public officials to be investigated.
Also, there has been a sustained by Dr. Idriss Lahai, who has been exposing public officials holding higher offices with fake certificates.
The country’s Anti- Corruption Commission (ACC) last month April also urged all public sector institutions in the country to conduct academic credentials verification and audit following allegations of some top officials having fakes degrees from the African Graduate University (AGU) and the Dominion Christian University (DCU), an institutions the tertiary Education Commission says they were not registered with them.
‘’The attention of the Anti-Corruption Commission (ACC) had been drawn to public discussions relating to the issuance of Certificates (Bachelor’s, Master’s, and Doctorate Degrees) by mainly, the Dominion Christian University (DCU) and the African Graduate University (AGU) and that; these Certificates are deemed to be “fake” since the afore-said institutions are not accredited to award such Certificates,’’ ACC said in a statement.