Delivering a speech to mark the third Convocation of the University, Dr. Abboud said With such events, UNIMAK is giving each of the individuals, the equipment to be able to contribute to their society and have the chance to live up to their god-given potential; as our nation charts the way forward in this new century.
“No doubt, alongside academic rigour, there is an essential need to produce rounded and grounded young people who have the skills and behaviours that businesses want,” he said, and added that the really interesting challenge for universities like UNIMAK; is whether and when they are going to move into that space and away from the age-long lecture-hall system that is regarded as not being of the best use of the lecturer or student’s time.
“Indications are that because they appear much more effective, this may be the future direction of teaching and learning. Our education authorities and the senate of this pace-setting university will do well to have a think about this suggestion and begin to prepare for how and which areas to key into, at the earliest possible time,” says the Transnational Boss, revealing further that with an increasingly youthful population which is no doubt a veritable fertile ground for innovation, dynamism and creativity, it is essential that the way forward for our nation, is to address the rising aspirations of this segment of our society so that they are made to feel an increasing part of the global village.
“I must emphasise that it is vital not to simply impose a technology on a hapless population like ours. Instead, it will be better to acknowledge and refine the tools which communities are already using, to create effective solutions across the digital divide,” he said.
The world of technology, Dr. Abboudsaid was and is driven today by young men and women like the graduands and other Sierra Leonean students still horning their skills in higher institutions across the country and abroad.
“A skilled workforce is essential to the economy and high quality vocational routes need to be available and encouraged, as the back-up. We can introduce vocational qualifications in which hands-on assessment, years of experience and such evaluations are used as educational incentives, for those unable to formally study in higher institutions. I urge our political and educational administrators to keep this in view,” he suggested.
“Isn’t it sad that the level and quality of some of our graduates today are not equal to the standard six of days of yore; nor is the quality of their output as good as that of some of the famous names of the past who rose to the height of their profession simply through apprenticeship and correspondence courses?,” the Philanthropic Businessman questioned.
He commended UNIMAK for trying to make a difference in this regard and added that it is his fervent prayer that the government will take the bull by the horn and effect the urgent transformation of our educational sector, to restore its lost glory.
“It is your turn to use your qualification as a springboard for the currents that will dominate the nation’s landscape politically, socially and economically from now on. This is why to challenge and encourage graduating students of this great institution; I am launching the ADONIS ABBOUD UNIMAK TROPHY, for the BEST MALE AND FEMALE GRADUATES of the University of Makeni, as part of the convocation. In addition to the glittering trophy, the winners will each receive a cash sum of SIX MILLION LEONES.
The gesture is my little contribution to efforts to challenge our students and get the best out of this dwindling pool of talents available to carry the burden of the nation’s future,” he concluded.