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Minister Launches AQHEd’s High-LevelTask Force for Tertiary Education Reform

October 13, 2020

PHOTO: AQHEd SL Project Task Force members together with Minister of Technical and Higher Education ã AQHEd SL

The Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Prof Aiah Gbakima has launched the Assuring Quality Higher Education in Sierra Leone task force (AQHEd SL) in Freetown.

The task force members, drawn from an array of professionals from Government ministries, Departments and Agencies, Universities, Business industry, Engineering Firms and the private sector, would  contribute to the sustainable implementation of the reforms which have been introduced by the AQHEd SL project.

The launching of the 14-member High Level Task Force took place at a well-attended ceremony on Wednesday 30th September 2020 at the New Brookfields Hotel in the Freetown.

The Minister of Technical and Higher Education, said that he was delighted with the UK aid-funded project which he emphasized has helped improve quality and strengthened the collaboration among higher institutions of learning in Sierra Leone.

“I am happy for this initiative for not only helping in reviewing our curriculum but also for building and sustaining synergies and collaboration among higher institutions of learning and involvement of the private sector and civil society.”

The AQHEd SL Project Lead, Professor Jonas Redwood Sawyerr said that he has trust in the calibre of the people in the High Level Task Force noting that they were selected by the cluster units. He stressed that key among the responsibilities of the high level task force is the interaction with the heads of the clusters or units who have recommended them to serve as task force members.

“I am impressed by the high-level people and institutions that are working together to address the challenges of mismatch in course content and the demands in the job markets thereby improving the quality of teaching and learning services in the education sector,” emphasized Professor Redwood Sawyerr.

The British Council Country Director in Sierra Leone, Kelly Fergusson said that she was thrilled to witness the launching of the High Level Task Force. She noted that it was important, more than ever, for different stakeholders to collaborate on a greater scale to enroll and engage others through some of the most influential people who are part of the High Level Task Force.

“I am delighted that you all have agreed to take on such critical roles in maintaining the momentum and guaranteeing the future sustainability of this project in Sierra Leone,” Kelly Fergusson said. 

The launching and unveiling of a High Level Task Force was a key milestone reached by the AQHEd SL project comprising of seven higher educational sinstitutions; University of Sierra Leone, Njala University, University of Makeni, Freetown Teachers College, Ernest Bai Koroma University of Science and Technology, Eastern Polytechnic and the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology. The project is one of the eight Strategic Partnership for Higher Education Innovation and Reform (SPHEIR) programmes funded by the United Kingdom’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

The ceremony was climaxed with handing over of detailed terms of reference to the High Level Task Force members as they assume their roles in the next few weeks.

In other areas of implementation, the project has developed a unified curriculum review template that is being applied in all higher educational institutions; establishment of Quality Assurance units in the institutions, built and strengthened collaboration among all higher educational institutions; facilitated pedagogy training for lecturers; developed a Quality Assurance template; formulated a post graduate diploma programme for Quality Assurance officers in all higher institutions of learning.

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