FBC Biological Sciences in focus

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By: Maa-Oul-LaNeine Tunis

The Biological Sciences Department of Fourah Bay College(FBC), University of Sierra Leone(USL) has commended the proactive measures demonstrated by the college administration to refurbish  its departmental building, and ignite a review of their curriculum which could have positive impacts on sustainable national development. The aforementioned actions by the leadership of the college is said to have been geared towards producing informed and productive biological science students in the country.

Nationally, the drive of making science attractive to students, and also lucrative for the job market has been a public campaign in Sierra Leone, and tertiary institutions like FBC are considered strategically important in championing the cause. Hence,  the current administrative leadership of the college has been proactive in undertaking infrastructural and curriculum review measures to assist in actualising the said goals.

In giving the background of the developmental projects and their positive effects on the department, the Head of the Biological Sciences Department, Dr. Arnold Okoni-Williams pointed out that the departmental building was in a very deplorable state for over 17 years after the end of the 11 years civil war which had a negative effects on the building. He also described the unfortunate incident of the building not to had been captured in the BADEA project that saw a massive rehabilitation and construction of buildings on campus.

Dr. Okoni-Williams however extended his appreciation to the current Deputy Vice Chancellor(DVC) of FBC, Professor Lawrence Kamara and his team of Administrative Staff for their timely intervention of generating funds to refurbish and modernise the departmental building , also highlighting Professor Kamara’s strategic leadership role in igniting the move to review their departmental curriculum in order to meet the demands of society.

Moreso, he confidently said that the timely move by the college administration has made the biological sciences department attractive to science students , encouraged  inflows of external partnerships with the department, and also created an enabling platform for administrative and academic activities in the department .

Dr. Okoni-Williams further revealed that the department recently undertook a curriculum review process that gave birth to three components in its academic structure. The following components were mentioned:

a. Environmental Biology: The course  is said to be designed to help in addressing current challenges of environmental issues in Society.

b. Laboratory Science: It is said to be designed to assist in addressing issues of providing effective laboratory services in Society.

c. Biology Education: It is said to be designed to prepare prospective graduates in working  with students and stakeholders in comprehensively understand the different concepts in biological sciences.

In expressing his admiration for the lively developments in the department, Mohamed Al-Amin Turay, a Final Year Student of the department who is also the chairman of the departmental students representative body known as the Biological Science Society for Environment and Development (BIOSSED), said that the recent developments in the department have strategical position it as one of the most formidable academic platforms for science students in the country.

He however stated that more work is needed to fully modernise the department, thereby encouraging alumni, partners, and well-wishers of the department to work with the college administration in positioning the department as the most enviable on campus.

 ‘’Interaction Between Judges & Lawyers ‘’… Chief Justice

Sierra Leone’s Chief Justice, His Lordship Justice Desmond Babatunde Edwards has called for more interaction between Judges and Lawyers to ensure the effective administration of Justice.

“The judge – lawyer relationship implies the cordial but respectful relationship that should exist between judges and lawyers as both play an important role in the administration of justice or effective delivery of justice,” he said.

Describing the relationship between the Bench and the Bar as one of “mutual respect,” he stressed that a continued existence of cordial relationship between the two is pivotal in the effective administration of justice.

The Chief Justice further noted that “as officers of the court, the lawyers are required to maintain a respectful attitude toward the bench bearing in mind that the dignity of the judicial office is sine qua non to the existence proper and effective administration of justice.”

He added that while the primary duty of Judges is to administer justice among other things with the assistance of lawyers, lawyers as officers of the court, have a duty to assist the court in the administration of justice.

Justice Edwards explained the set criteria to be Lawyer or Legal Practitioner in Sierra Leone and for a judge he said that, “to be a Judge would imply that a particular person is entitled to practice as counsel in a court having unlimited jurisdiction in civil and criminal matters in Sierra Leone or any other country having a system of law analogous to that of Sierra Leone and approved by the Judicial and Legal Service Commission for a period of at least 10 years for a High Court Judge, 15 years standing for an Appeal Court Judge and 20 years standing for a Supreme Court Judge.”

He thanked the President and members of the Sierra Leone Bar Association for inviting him as a special guest to join this year’s celebration marking yet another Annual Bar Conference.

In his keynote address on the topic “The Legal Profession and the Restoration of Hope,” the Hon. Vice President, Dr. Mohamed Juldeh Jalloh said development can only take place where there is a stable political and social order and therefore there is a resounding need to strengthen the Rule of Law.

“The rule of law is essential in building a democratic state and the only way to rebuild a state is to democratise it,” said Hon. Vice President Dr. Juldeh Jalloh.

He went further to say that the justice sector has been confronted with serious challenges that have limited it capacity to administer justice.

In her vote of thanks, the Sierra Leone Bar Association President, Madam Michaela Eddinia Swallow thanked the Vice President for honouring the invite to grace the annual conference. She also commended the Chief Justice and colleagues at the Bar.

“I rest assure you all that you’ll not be disappointed,” she concluded.

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