“Be Bastions Of Integrity”- Ambassador Dimka Tells Liberia University Communities
The Nigeria Ambassador to Liberia, James G. Dimka says there is a need for the University Communities in Liberia to become bastions of integrity.
Speaking at the 58th commencement convocation of the Cuttington University undergraduate school on June 28, 2019 in Suakoko, Bong County, Ambassador Dimka said the University Community must return to its preeminent high post of being the citadel of learning, adding 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.
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 policymakers, maintaining University’s need to identify, recruit and retain the best culture of mentoring and raising the bar for intellectual is an urgent proposition.
The Nigerian Envoy 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 said the 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 a more visible and robust role for multinational and local companies in the 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 leveraged on,” Ambassador Dimka stressed.
Ambassador Dimka 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 a 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.
Moreover, Ambassador Dimka told the 248 graduates that Liberia is in a distinctively valuable position because of its predominantly young population, 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.
“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-based violence and urban-rural divide. The need of the moment is to provide quality education to overcome these challenges.”
He further told the graduates to have respect for the rule of law, good governance, respect for individual rights, desist from all forms of violence and evil association, adding you must be guided by the fact that we now live in a global village where many problems and issues are global with cross-border implications.