Sierra Leone: College of Theology Observes 31st Annual Graduation Ceremony

Concord Times, Freetown – The College of Theology, Management and Church Training Centre last Friday observed their thirty-first annual graduation at their campus on Wesley Street, Freetown, on the theme “Facing the Challenges of Ethical and Moral Issues in Achieving Educational Goals.”

Speaking during the ceremony, Principal of the college, Mrs. Olivia Wesley said the graduation ceremony is also referred to as “commencement” by some as it signifies a period of ending and a beginning, a time to mark the end of a period of academic travails through teaching and learning and a time to begin real academic living for those that will be given licence to read, write and teach.

She said the occasion also depicts a time of measurement and evaluation for the college to assess both the successes and the quality of what they have imparted in the graduants.

“Mr. Vice Chancellor Sir, let me assure you that these graduants have received quality education under a very good leadership and a qualified and competent staff. This is a strength that we must not and cannot lose sight of. These students have received instructions in an ideal teaching and learning environment with an equipped Library and up-to-date resources for all programmes. Coupled with that, the climate is a very conducive one that will ensure these graduants become role models as they return to their employment and some to start their careers, putting into practice what they have acquired over the years,” she said.

She said that in spite of this strength they must not overlook the weaknesses in the system because their institution caters for students around the country and it has open its doors to an inclusive clientele, both religious and secular and operates a diversified curriculum, with the absence of such support being a weakness which poses a big challenge especially after increases in salaries, wages and allowances to government and government assisted institutions.

She said that in like manner students have been expecting to benefit from the government Grants–in-Aide which would rendered their condition better, but they hope these issues will be addressed soon enough, in recognition of the college’s contribution to nation-building.

She said they chose the theme because they thought about the issues at hand and make positive changes as required and accepted by society.

She said the current fallacy of achievement is such that students strive to get the best result at all cost is unfortunately becoming a rule rather than the exception. She lamented that students seek cheaper ways, unethically and immorally, to get what they crudely term the ‘paper’ with different methods, ranging from sex for marks, cash for marks, mobile phones for marks, dinner for marks, lunch for marks and other ways,

The guest speaker at the ceremony, Mr. Nat Wellington, senior lecturer at the Department of Economics and Commerce at Fouray Bay College, University of Sierra Leone, acknowledged there are numerous challenges in the education sector, which makes the theme quite apt.

He said ethical and moral challenges have been critical to the decline of the nation, evidenced by the fact that several moral and ethical commission of enquiries have been set up to look into the causes of the eleven years civil war in the country, yet people keep searching for the cause which he attributed to immoral, unethical and bad politics in the country.

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