University of Sierra Leone Launches ICT Portal - Sierra Leone News

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

University of Sierra Leone Launches ICT Portal

The Minister of Technical and Higher Education Professor Aiah Gbakima has on May 9, 2019, launched the Information and Communication Technology (ITC) portal the University of Sierra Leone in the conference hall of the College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences at New England Ville, Freetown.

The Acting Vice Chancellor and Principal of the University, Professor Foday Sahr said since he assumed office in June 2018, one of the areas he identified as crucial for the development and transformation of the university of Sierra Leone that needed immediate attention was the established of a reliable Information Technology and Communication portal for sustainable internet connectivity and computerization of their operational systems.

He said in January this year, they launched the commencement of the process for the setting up of the ICT portal after going through all necessary procurement processes, noting that after several engagement with stakeholders, they agreed to have the ICT Portal before the commencement of the next academic year administration process.

He said his administration has been working to make this dream a reality, noting that in preparing for the success of this project, they recruited an ICT Director, a Web Master and other ICT personnel for the various campuses and other units across the university.

He said several pilot sessions were conducted by the service provider on the functions of the ICT portal with the last one being held on March 25, at the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM).

“A lot of training was also done for staff who would be operating or managing the portal on some of the following: application for admission, students registration, courses, subject and batches, human resource management, student attendance, I.D cards, timetable allocation, examination, news management, user management, school/event calendar, finance, student information, employee/lecturer login, messaging system, online examination, library and discipline,” he said.

Prof. Foday Sahr said that high level of training was also conducted for senior staff including himself, the deputy vice chancellors, the registrar, deputy registrars and the finance director to be able to supervise and monitor the activities on the portal.

He said that, before this time the internet and ICT facilities in the university were nothing to write home about, adding that all of their records were manually processed; there were no proper filing system and access to information, adding that records management, storage and retrieval were a great challenge. “This seriously affected operations of university in almost every area,” he said.

He thanked the Chinese government, who through their embassy in Sierra Leone contracted Huawei - an ICT provider, to help improve access to internet facilities in all the campuses of the university.
He noted that when the ICT portal comes into operation, hopefully it will ease the burden of information flow and create a friendly working relationship among staff members and between staff and students.

He stated that there are going to be challenges, because with the implementation of this system, a lot of leakages will be eliminated and obviously those who were benefitting from these leakages will be making attempts to either sabotage or discredit the system, noting that such attempts could be met with the appropriate reactions.

Mahmoud Idriss, CEO of Niche Technologies, said they are happy to implement the system. He said six months ago he didn’t know that there are 101courses offered by the University of Sierra Leone, 55 of which are under graduate course and 46 are post graduate. He said there are 12033 registered students of the USL and 1243 employees.

He said the system has benefits of data and efficiency in time and money spent, and also there is going to be a mobile app that will be access by students through their android phones.


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