At the stakeholders' conference to update the general public on progress for the establishment of the University of Science and Technology in Kono, the Vice President officially launched the 'Kono Education Development Fund' to support education at various levels in the district.
Led by the Vice President, the fund raiser attracted pledges from various stakeholders ranging from indigenes, companies to government ministers.
In attendance include the Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Prof. Aiah Gbakima, Mayor Koidu City, District Council Representatives, Paramount Chiefs, Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Alpha Timbo, Minister of Health and Sanitation, Dr. Alpha Wurie, Minister of Labour, Adekunle King, Minister of Youth Mohamed Orman Bangura, SLPP Women's Leader Fatmata Sawanneh, Ambassadors and representatives from various construction and other companies.
Vice President Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh said Kono has been suffering from social injustice for a very long time, especially in the educational sector.
"This new direction government is very much determined to reverse such unfortunate trend," the VP affirmed.
The Kono Education Development Fund and the establishment of the University will reinforce steps towards quality education for Kono and the country as a whole, he said.
According to him, the development fund will support all educational activities in the district, including remedial and technical vocational endeavors.
On the progress of the proposed University of Science and Technology, Minister Gbakima gave a comprehensive update from availability of funds, political will to clarification on social media misconceptions on the status of the project.
The minister started off by dispelling rumours that he was planning to deprive Kono and Kenema of much needed higher education institutions.
He assured his audience that plans were well underway for the establishment of the University of the East, which will have one of its three campuses in Kono District.
Additionally, the establishment of the University of Science and Technology in Kono is steadily progressing to its feasibility study stage, following land acquisition and commitment for availability of funds.
The consultant for the feasibility study would be announced in the next couple of days, according to the minister.
Minister Gbakima said the establishment of the University is expected to receive cabinet approval by December this year.
He said President Bio is very passionate about education with an unstoppable agenda for quality education in Sierra Leone.
Various District Stakeholders made statements of appreciation and commitment to support the president's agenda in education and various other sectors.