Returning to my Alma Mater

Ibrahim Kamara

I came to Milton Margai College of Education and Technology (MMCET) in Freetown to execute my CD4D assignment in developing  the staff’s capacity in the business studies department. Interestingly, this great institution, the MMCET happens to be my Alma Mater where I studied English and French and graduated in 1994.

I continued my studies and professional experiences in the Netherlands, where I went to Wageningen University to earn my MSc in International Development Studies. It was a great honour and privilege to once again visit my Alma Mater. Upon arrival to MMCET, I had a wonderful welcome from the principal and his team.

When I met the college administration, they were so kind as to give me a tour of the grounds that I used to walk on so frequently. It looked very strange as a lot of things have changed. The number of new buildings increased and more students are roaming around the campus which is now beautified with flowers.

The following day, the work began in earnest. I trained and coached four lectures in business communication, presentation skills and Power Point presentations. Interestingly, my training goes along with lectures. I handled a class of 35 Higher Teacher Certificate Students (HTC) in their second year. Therefore, both the lecturers and students benefited from the exercise.

At the end of the assignment, the lecturers were able to master my teaching skills as well as methods and techniques in delivering lectures professionally. They were also able to confidently prepare PowerPoint presentations and use their general presentation skills competently.

The most intriguing part of my assignment is that I came to capacitate staff of the business department, but staff in other departments became interested and joined the classes too. I ended up training more people than I expected. This gave me confidence in the positive effect of the CD4D programme.

"Thereis brain drain, and so, the country needs you!"

Despite the achievement of the assignment, however, I also faced challenges in the areas of bad internet connectivity, high transportation costs and the short duration of the assignments. If these challenges could be turned into opportunities, I am sure that my assignment could have a greater beneficial influence on the tasks’ efficiency.

The college administration is demanding for more experts in various areas, as this will help to capacitate the institution that leads to growth. I want to encourage diaspora out there, Sierra Leoneans in particular to come home and help develop their country in diverse ways.

On behalf of the Sierra Leone diaspora community in the Netherlands, especially fellow CD4D participants, I want to thank the Dutch government for this brilliant initiative, IOM for facilitating the programme and of course my colleagues for their professional services.