Alhaji Murtada maintained that the Islamic Online University (IOU) is the brain-child of Dr. Bilal Philips, who envisioned a higher-learning institution that offers intensive online undergraduate and graduate programs.
IOU’s journey began in 2007 with the launch of free online diploma courses in its open campus. The University now has seven colleges offering accredited online degree programs: College of Education, College of Islamic Economics, College of Banking & Finance, College of Psychology, College of Islamic Studies, College of Business Administration, College of Information Technology, and the College of Arabic Language and Linguistics.
One of the goals of the University is to prevent terrorism and extremism through education, by offering the correct Islamic knowledge that will save the youths from drug abuse, hate speeches, fundamentalism and to let the masses out there who are ignorant of Islam see the clear distinction between Islam and deviant sects who mislead the public and send the wrong signal!
Alhaji Murtada Sesay informed the Deputy Minister that, The Islamic Online University denounces, in the strongest terms, terrorism and all forms of extremism against any people, community or country regardless of religion, color, race or political views. Such acts have both a devastating and detrimental effect on humanity and society as a whole. Terroristic acts, committed by misguided souls, also tarnish the image of Islam. These actions of a few distort perceptions of Muslims, which results in negative stereotypes that increase Islamophobia within our societies.
The qualified teachers, scholars, life-coaches, and professionals that teach at the Islamic Online University are comprised of various ethnic backgrounds and come from all corners of the world. Despite the varying backgrounds, they all share a common love of learning and a shared desire to spread authentic and beneficial knowledge. All of our teachers strive very hard to present their courses, lectures, notes, and presentations in the most effective manner to benefit our students and the general public (in the case of public courses and events).
Dr. Murtada Sesay therefore calls on the government through the ministry of Higher Education to include IOU in its free quality education package and also prevail on the Tertiary Education Commission to fast track the Accreditation process that long overdue.
Sheikh Alie Kallay, the country representative and registrar of IOU informed Dr. Senesie that The Government of Somalia’s Ministry of Culture and Higher Education, the Ministry of Higher Education in the Gambia, The Ministry of Education in Indonesia and the NCTVA in Sierra Leone among others have already granted accreditation to the Islamic Online University, adding it to its list of accredited universities which are recognized by the UN and therefore recognized by accredited universities globally.
Sheikh Kallay drew the attention of the minister that Online Education today is the only way to go as our universities are overcrowded, insufficient and are short of lecturers and academics including the huge financial budding on the government.
“As an online educator if government asks us today to register from one to ten million students my university can do it”! IOU representative assures the minister.
Sheikh Issa Ghalie Sesay one of the post graduate students of IOU, in his presentation said that the Islamic Online University is among the Six (6) Best Online universities that offer Middle Eastern Studies Programs including the American Military University (Charles Town, WV),American University (Washington, DC), California University Of Pennsylvania (California, PA, Southern New Hampshire University (Manchester NH),University of West Florida (Pensacola, FL),Asian Association of Open Universities (AAOU)Association of African Universities (AAU) and African Quality Assurance Network (AfriQAN).
The Deputy Minister of Higher and Technical Education Dr Turad Senesie in his response thanked the IOU team and welcomed the IOU style and method of education based on what he heard from Dr Murtada Sesay, the country Rep and what he heard from Dr Bilal Philips himself when he was talking exclusively online education, during an interview last Thursday in Accra Ghana by Kwesi Sam of the AAU-TV Talks show.
Dr. Senesie said that they as government are servants of the people and therefore must listen to them. “We are here to actualize the human factor of this nation especially in the area of education”, Dr Senesie said.
He promised to hang head with the TEC to see what should be put in place to secure the accreditation for IOU and its students.
The Deputy Minister emphasized that if our youths are in our learning institutions they will be away from behaviors that will keep them away from doing things are will create insecurity for the country.
If our youths are educated, they will be able to distinguish between the good and the bad.
Dr. Senesie admonished the IOU students to be good selfless Sierra Leoneans because according to him, over the years we have been graduating students in Economics, Engineering, and Law etc. but yet still we must hire other people from other countries to do our jobs.