December 4, 2017, Prof. Amara, Chair of the Education Committee in the Department of Biochemistry and Medical Genetics at the Faculty of Health Sciences, College of Medicine, University of Manitoba, Canada, delivered a public, interactive seminar entitled “Community Engagement: students as partners in national development.”
This seminar is part of a series of lectures the college is organizing for visiting professors.
In his speech, Prof. Amara distinguished Education from Learning in the context of Community Engagement. He noted that Education could be viewed as schooling while Learning is the ability to use knowledge in new ways to bring about changes in society.
He encouraged institutions to improve their perspectives of people within communities as being “uneducated” to one of having powerful insights into their own lives. And to empower communities to determine their future aspirations, leading to successful and sustainable development.
Addressing the audience, Prof. Amara expressed his admiration for Mr. Muckson Sesay, the president and founder of the Canadian College of Modern Technology, for his visionary thinking towards impacting the lives of youths of Sierra Leone.
He called for a collaborative interaction between schools, colleges, and communities to find new and effective strategies for applying learning for their development. Especially for Sierra Leoneans abroad to bring developmental projects to their local communities, rather than clamoring to move back home for political appointments and favors for jobs that they were unqualified for while living abroad.
Prof. Amara also encouraged CCMT to continue its community engagement effort throughout the country. He challenged every student to do at least one community engagement project before graduating from college. For example, he encouraged students to organize computer outreach activities for local market women to take advantage of information technology.
Students were very enthusiastic to learn and asked several questions about how they can fully participate and engage in Community Development.
In conclusion, Prof. Amara informed his audience that he has a similar vision to establish the Millennium STEM Centre for every Sierra Leonean who has a passion for science. He said, “my vision is to build The Millennium STEM Centre in Kenema, which will serve as the main hub to promote excellence in science education for Sierra Leone.” This centre, which is now under construction, is expected to formally open in September 2020