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Sierra Leone News: UNIVERSITY OF SIERRA LEONE AND THE UNIVERSITY OF GUINEA TO ENGAGE IN ACADEMIC EXCHANGE

Right to left Dr. Bangaly Camara and Dr. Faya Isfono

Right to left Dr. Bangaly Camara and Dr. Faya Isfono

A two man delegation from the University of Guinea has concluded a two – day working visit to the University of Sierra Leone. The purpose of the visit was to discuss a proposal for partnership between the two institutions. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) will formalize the relationship. The MOU will cover proposed areas of collaboration including faculty and student exchange especially in the area of language studies.
At a meeting in the office of the Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sierra Leone, Dr. Banagaly Camara from the University of Guinea, said that Sierra Leone and Guinea have a common focus in educational development but language barriers have been a constraint in effectively working together. Dr. Bangalay pointed out that the Government of the Republic of Guinea had made it mandatory for the teaching of English in all schools and other academic institutions across Guinea. He said that such a move by the government had necessitated collaboration in the area of language studies between the two Universities.
Professor Ekundayo Thompson Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University of Sierra Leone expressed his institution’s willingness to collaborate pointing out that Francophone citizens were more interested in speaking English whilst many Anglophones including Sierra Leoneans hardly show interest in learning and using French to communicate in spite of efforts made over the years to include French in the school curriculum. He added that through exchanges between both universities the problem of language as a barrier in communication would be addressed.
Mrs. Bernadette Cole, The Director Alumni and International Relations Directorate, University of Sierra Leone said that the Departments of Mass Communication and Language studies will facilitate implementation of the MOU when signed. Some of the areas for possible partnership should include study visits by faculty and staff to Guinea and Sierra Leone. This process will permit them to have first-hand experience in speaking English and French, she added.
In another related development, members of the visiting team from the University of Guinea and staff of the University of Sierra Leone paid a courtesy call on the Mano River Union Secretary General H. E Ambassador Madina A. Wesseh (Esq) at her Fudia Terrace Office in Freetown where she was fully briefed about the proposed educational partnership and other related matters including the hosting of a sub-regional conference of Universities in Mano River basin, in Freetown
In her remarks, H. E Ambassador Madina Wesseh (Esq) said Sierra Leoneans as well as Guineans had lost many job opportunities because of that bilingual deficiency. She pointed out that institutional partnership through a Memorandum of Understanding would help address both cultural and language barriers adding that both universities should take urgent action by developing the MOU that would capture all interest areas that would promote the mandate of both universities.
Friday August 11, 2016.

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