By Feima Sesay
Orange Money signs partnership agreement with Ministry of Technical and High Education.
Orange Money is a subset of Orange Sierra Leone, and Fourah Bay College, Institute of Public Administration and Management and College of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences constitute the University of Sierra Leone.
The partnership between the two institutions came into force after they signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the collection of fees for the universities.
With the new partnership, a platform that will support higher education in Sierra Leone has been created.
Under the new MoU, USL students will now pay fees through digital means putting an end to the long suffering students have experienced in years.
The signing ceremony took place yesterday at Orange Sierra Leone headquarters in Freetown attended by dignitaries in the education sector.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Orange Money David Mansaray saw the signing of the MoU as a “landmark achievement,” as they have been in the process for the past months.
“For a long time, we have been trying to sign this MoU, and I am excited that today it has been done,” CEO Mansaray said. Mansaray went on to state that the new partnership would bring much ease to the students noting that their time and energy will be saved.
Other challenges which more often confront students and university authorities will be a thing of the past according to the new MoU.
“Before now, authorities found it difficult to retrieve lost receipts, and students missed exams for that,” he recounted.
A new hope is here under the new system as students will now pay through Orange Money at the comfort of their homes.
According to him, digital payment of fees would also help authorities to analyze well, and take informed decisions.
Assurance of a digital audit trail was also made by Orange Money CEO.
Speaking on behalf of USL and other universities, Chairman for the Conference of Vice Chancellors and Principals said, for a long time, they had wanted to see this happen since the payment of fees have been a bit difficult.
He cited as a bright example on the 65, 000 (sixty-five thousand) students that matriculated in all universities in the country.
Handling the fees of such a huge number calls for a digitization.
“The need for connectivity in the payment of fees cannot be over-emphasised if we are to handle the huge number of student population,” he asserted.
He went on to state that the 50% drop in fees collection is also another key factor that motivated the partnership.
CVCP Chairman hopes that the university will make more money with the intervention of Orange Money.
He however assured the company that the university will run the MoU fast as other organizations too might go in for such opportunity.
In his contribution, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Technical and Higher Education, Gilbert Cooper, said a learning management system that is digital and the signing of the new MoU is in line with the e-learning project.
The University of Sierra Leone is among the latest institutions to embark on digital partnership with Orange Money.
District and city councils in Kenema, Kono and other parts of the country have gone into digital partnership with the company.