The Nigerian Ambassador to Liberia, His Excellency James G. Dimka, says there is a need for the University Communities in Liberia to become bastions of integrity, Writes D. Patrick Tokpah .
The Nigerian envoy who spoke at the 58th commencement convocation of the Cuttington University undergraduate school said the University Community must return to its preeminent high post of being the citadel of learning.
He noted that its prestige can only be returned if it focuses on research and academic excellence rather than being distracted by the filthy lucre of politics and intrigues from politicians. Ambassador Dimka spoke on June 28, 2019 in Suakoko, Bong County.
To be sure, the academia must support politics, but this support must be based on capacity to generate fresh ideas and to produce evidence based on research to policy makers, maintaining University’s need to identify, recruit and retain the best culture of mentoring and raising the bar for intellectual, he counseled the University Community, saying that his counsel is an urgent preposition.
Ambassador Dimka told the administration of the CU that in addition to their newly established entrepreneurial center, there is also need to establish Instructional Technology Unit to integrate information and communication technology into teaching and learning environment.
He pointed out that the such Instructional Technology Unit is to provide staff and students with highest quality of computing, multimedia and web services as teaching and learning tools as well as aiming at increasing productivity and promoting sustainability through skill acquisition, innovation, collaboration and application of the state of the art technology in the tripartite mandate of teaching, learning and research.
“The inadequate funding of tertiary institution requires more visible and robust role for multinational and local companies in funding of education. The establishment of academic linkages with other institutions abroad is a highly lucrative source of funding, which your institutions has not properly leverage on,” Ambassador Dimka observed.
The Nigerian diplomat revealed that Cuttington University should be creative and productive in seeking for funding outside traditional source to new ways of increasing Internally Generated Revenue such as establishing of Cuttington Consult, Center for Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development, adding Cuttington Farms and Engagement with Alumni body should be devised.
Additionally, he said there is need for CU to propose Memorandum of Understanding with Mark Arthur Foundation for funding of projects and initiate same with some Nigerian Universities that have successfully established similar centers to foster academic cooperation and collaboration.
Ambassador Dimka further told the 248 graduates that Liberia is in a distinctively valuable position because of its predominantly young population, but added that maintaining education is the single most important instrument to convert the vast and talented human resources into a productive workforce.
“The basic point is that solid academic preparation is sin-qua-non to performance not only as graduates, but in this case as a self-conscious vanguard of Cuttington University education,” Ambassador Dimka said
He added, “As graduates of this prestigious University, you should draw energy from wielding what I would like to call the ‘Liberian Advantage’ of the vast untapped natural resources that abound in your Country; bearing in mind that at almost 172 years after Independence, the Country is facing many problems like illiteracy, gender discrimination, corruption, sexual gender base violence and urban-rural divide.”
The ambassador asserted the need to provide quality education to overcome these challenges, imploring the graduates further to have respect for the rule of law, good governance, respect for individual rights, and desist from all forms of violence as well as evil associations; adding that the graduates must be guided by the fact that the world is a global village where many problems and issues are global with cross-border implications.