International Journal of Silviculture and Agroforestry (IJSA) ISSN 1720-349X, Vol. 4(2), pp. 117-121, June, 2021. © Advanced Scholars Journals

Full length Research paper

Forestry education in Sierra Leone: progress and constraints in preparing for the job market

Alieu EK1, Mattia SB2 and  Kargbo IR3*

1,2,&3School of Natural Resources Management, Njala University.

*Corresponding Author’s Email: irkargbo@njala.edu.sl

Accepted 8th January, 2021.

Abstract

Forestry education in Sierra Leone started with the Universities Act. 2005 which separated Njala University (NU) from the University of Sierra Leone (USL). This study reviews forestry education at NU from 2007 when the School of Forestry and Horticulture (now School of Natural Resources Management) actually became functional to date. The study methodology entailed NU record review on: Students’ enrollment; graduation; job placement; forestry curriculum content etc.; Interviews with key University staff; students etc. on funding; industrial actions; student misconduct and, female forestry students on enrollment issues etc. Personal observations were also made. Findings: The NU forestry curriculum was reviewed in 2015. Government’s graduate forestry job placement is declining. Government support to NU (over 95% of the total financial burden) is waning, inconsistent and untimely. External funding support terminated during the 10 years long rebel war. This war was followed by the 14 months Ebola scourge in 2014 and the recent industrial actions by lecturers all disrupted the academic calendar, while examination malpractices, cultism, student misconduct etc. affect student graduation.Conclusions: Financial constraints, cultism, student misconduct etc. affect NU calendar, student enrollment and graduation. Students intake and graduation, (especially female forestry students) may continue to decrease in tan den with rising costs of education. Government of Sierra Leone should provide Grant to students that opt to study Forestry in the University as to increase on the population.

Key words: Act, Review, Enrollment, Graduation, Placement, Constraints, Malpractice