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MMCE&T, Eastern Polytech for Technical University

The Ministry of Technical and Higher Education (MTHE) has revealed that government has concluded the assessment of two more colleges for transformation into universities and that very soon they would consider both the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology in Freetown and the Eastern Polytech College in Kenema as they have met the criteria for advancement.

Addressing the administration and staff of the Milton Margai College Tuesday, Gilbert Cooper who is the Permanent Secretary in the Higher Education Ministry revealed that the Ministry has accepted the recommendations of the TEC for the MMCET and the Eastern Polytechnic to be transformed to Technical Universities. He said all relevant stakeholders and line ministries like Finance, Labour and Social Security and the Tertiary Education Commission were involved in the process.

He said for a start, MMCET will start with three (3) Faculties, viz Education, Technology and Hospitality until some grey areas were trimmed for the college to include other relevant faculties in due course. The principal, Dr Philip John Kanu who said the new status has many responsibilities, acknowledged this according to him.  

Mr Gilbert Cooper highlighted other issues for the transformation of the MMCET and the Eastern Polytechnic to Technical Universities as budget and financial implications and appealed to all to wait until October this year when the two institutions would be included in the budget but warned that it is the responsibility of all to lobby the powers that be for the new status and financial support.

The Permanent Secretary said the aim of transforming the two colleges was to teachers as there were no trained and qualified teachers for technical/vocational education.

It could be recalled that recently in a letter dated 25th August 2020, the Ministry of Higher and Tertiary Education wrote a letter to the Chairman of the Tertiary Education Commission acknowledging a report from the Commission bordering on the transformation of the two colleges into universities. In part, the letter reads that as the government had given consent to the report, the process was under consideration following section 42(1) of the 2006 University Act. The letter says the Ministry of Higher Education has forwarded a letter to the ministry of Finance for the financial proposal for the transformation of the two colleges into universities.

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