He made the disclosure at the Student’s Forum that was attended by hundreds of students, lecturers and staff during which he articulated that the college has been part of the history of education in Sierra Leone affirming that government prioritizes education, the reason for the introduction of the free quality education by the Government of President Julius Maada Bio.
He also underscored that education is a basic right that makes people competitive, that today most educated people cannot articulate issues or solve complex scientific theories and contrasted between formal English and traditional education, described Sir Milton Margai after whom the college was named as the father of independence and one of the great sons of the country.
According to Mr. Timothy Kabba, it is only education that can emancipate people, that the products of Milton Margai can compete anywhere in the world reiterated that government is sincerely determined to improve the educational system in the country and recalled the civil war, Ebola outbreak and mudslide that disrupted the educational system underlining that President Julius Maada Bio has established a strong platform to implement the free quality education that would be monitored and reviewed for effective implementation.
The Director of the Petroleum Regulatory Agency went on to reveal that through education, government would strengthen the country’s human resource capital and underscored the need for girls to stay in school disclosing that government has increased budgetary allocation to education from 12%-21%, a clear manifestation of government’s commitment to the sector in addition to the support from donors like UNICEF and the World Bank among others.
He further urged all to rise up to the challenge of acquiring quality education adding that students pursuing science subjects and engineering are entitled to automatic scholarship, that education must be effective and is the upward vehicle that impacts society citing South Korea that focused its resources on human capital development resulting to 98% literacy rate and is one of the biggest economies.
He recalled that the Petroleum Regulatory Agency sponsored the introduction of a Bachelor in Education degree in Petroleum Engineering and started the construction of the Science Library at the Goderich campus that was later abandoned by the erstwhile government intimating that funds were provided for the construction of the building, provision of equipment, chemicals, furniture and other items that was never done causing the building to become derelict and stressed that this is not politics but defending the future of the young generation.
Mr. Timothy Kabba also guaranteed that the Agency would solicit funding from donors for the neglected Science Laboratory to be completed and furnished with equipment and chemicals enlightening that most the polytechnics in the country would be upgraded to universities to accommodate the large number of new intakes and that the facilities at Milton Margai would be extended.
He went on to state that Milton Margai College is one of the best in the country that has been transformed in recent times since the appointment of Dr. Philip Kanu as Acting Principal which he stressed is not a mistake; that Dr. Philip Kanu is one of the finest leaders and acknowledged that there must be cordiality between students, lectures and administrative staff for effective learning.
Mr. Timothy Kabba also described Dr. Philip Kanu as a replica of President Julius Maada Bio due to his sincere determination to transform the college into a university as well as improve on its infrastructure and academic performance highlighting that there is light at the end of the tunnel as government is committed to support education and gave an update of the oil and gas sector in the country.
In his brief statement, Dr. Philip Kanu said he welcomes frank discussions from students about developments in the college since his appointment, that his administration is transparent and accountable underlining that with resilience one can overcome challenges. The question and answer session climaxed the well-attended event.