March 1, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai
Minister of Trade and Industry, who also doubles as the ruling All People’s Congress (APC) party Western Regional Chairman, retired Captain Allieu Pat-Sowe, has noted that unlocking the potential of education for children would be critical in enhancing national development.
He made the above statement while delivering his keynote address, last Saturday, 25th February, 2017, at the Ahmadiyya Secondary School, Newton, during the graduation and matriculation ceremony of over 350 students.
70 students who had successfully gone through their Diploma and Certificate Courses in various fields of endeavour from the ADKAN Institute of Management and Technology (AIMT), were certified, while a new set of 190 students, who wished to purse Diploma and Certificate courses were matriculated.
Capt. (Rtd.) Allieu Pat-Sowe noted that education is a bedrock for the development of every nation, which was why he was very pleased to witness the graduation and matriculation ceremony.
“There are many people who want to go to higher institutions of learning but they lack the support. Some people are finding it very difficult to be moving from Newton to seek higher education in Freetown and other parts of the country but with the establishment of ADKAN at their doorstep, there will no longer be excuses,” he said.
He said students who graduated should go into the world and put into practise, what they have learnt for the development of the country.
Adviser to President Ernest Bai Koroma, Alhaji Alpha Khan, said the establishment of the ADKAN Institute of Management and Technology (AIMT) was a fulfillment of the Agenda for Change, which sought to promote education in every corner of the country.
“Days gone by, Sierra Leone was referred to as “the Athens of West Africa” but that has changed. We should ask ourselves the question, “why does it changed when teachers are still doing what they were doing in those glorious years?” for me, the reason is that we have refused to move with the world. Technology now rules the world and we should move with modern day technology in order to regain our position in the education arena of the world,” he said.
He said the founder and proprietor of ADKAN Institute of Management and Technology (AIMT), Mr. Abu Bakarr Fofanah, has been doing a trail of things in the Western Area Rural District, especially in constituency 95.
Founder and Proprietor, AIMT, who also doubles as President of the Coalition of Colleges, Abu Bakarr Fofanah, said education was what society needed to develop because when the public is enlightened, they would be able to make informed decision towards nation building.
“This is a self-fulfilling process which I started some years ago. I realised at that time that most of our brothers and sisters were going to Freetown and other places to acquire higher education. They were facing lots of problems with accommodation, transportation, among other challenges, particularly at a time when sponsors were struggling with economic hardship. Most of the people around Newton are living in poverty-stricken communities but with the college at their doorstep, education will be achieved for an improved society,” he said.
He said ADKAN, which was a fully accredited institution by Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, was quite aware of the challenge that lies ahead of the country.
He disclosed that with the help of his partners in the United Kingdom, OLNEY-UK, he was able to construct 150 houses for displaced people at the end of the civil war in the country, adding that OLNEY-UK had set up laboratories and provided equipment to schools, electrified the Newton hospital, constructed Nursery schools, and in 2015/2016 academic year, provided scholarship for 100 students of AIMT.
“To strengthen teachers’ education in this part of the country, AIMT has affiliated with the Port Loko Teachers College, now Ernest Bai Koroma University of Science and Technology (EBKUST), to do a Higher Teachers Certificate (HTC) and Teachers’ Certificate (TC),” he said.
He noted that development must go with a sound mind and that was why he has decided to dole a year scholarship to all students at AIMT to pursue a Higher National Diploma (HND).
“I have suffered a lot to raise this institution because I want to contribute to your life. I consider you to be pace-setters and please stay away from fraud and always respect elders,” he warned the grandaunts.