IBLT: Carving A Niche In Education Integration In West Africa

The higher education research area or space in Africa at the moment is hanging on the apron string of their past colonial masters, the Anglophone, Francophone and Lusaphone, with some Arab Countries in North Africa having their own specific systems. This handicaps the mobility of staff and students among the Countries, with statistics clearly showing that academic mobility outwards from the continent by far exceeds that within.

As African Countries, especially in the West-African Coast Region continue to suffer from their colonial past, it is imperative to have an educational revolution that will correct the anomaly and increase the academic mobility within the region among students and staff.

An institution, INSTITUT SUPÉRIUR BILINGUE LIBRE DU TOGO (LIBERAL BILINGUAL UNIVERSITY OF TOGO- IBLT) is making concise effort in achieving the dream by integrating Africans together through bilingualism in the education sector with the aim to cover West Africa and beyond.

The Institution’s Director of Studies, and Head Casablanca-Todman Campus, Mr. Omotayo Tola in a ‘no hold back’ interview with EDUCARE NEWS bears his mind on ranging issues that centre on the ideology, uniqueness, certification, challenges, selling point, dreams and vision of IBLT and other topical issues in the educational sector.

With wide case of report of low standard, forgery and lack of basic facilities for learning common amongst higher institutions in the West African region, which has enormously affected the growth and quality of graduates produced, but the Director of Studies emphasizes that this one area his institution stands out from the rest.

“Integrity makes us stand out, because you can’t deliver a vision without integrity, integrity made us stand out from other universities, we stand and operate by the statute that establish IBLT from the Ministry of Higher Education and Research Togolese Republic, we’re handed a statute guiding the operation of Universities in Togo, we operate in the confine of that law guiding us, and we have gotten to the peak of operating through the law that guides IBLT

Tola further encapsulates how IBLT uses human capital as indices for the institution’s facility.

“Our human capital is the facility we have, because when you get to the four walls of a university and there is no human capital to integrate the resources that is on ground into the students, it is useless. By the time our students graduate they will know is not about coming to the university, it’s about coming to acquire a skill, it’s not about coming to acquire theory but also vocational skills which is one of the major objective of IBLT CONSULT, every students must embark on skill training alongside the course they applied to study, we also incorporate entrepreneurship in IBLT so that when our students graduate, they will be having two certificates, we are the first university across the West African coast that are implementing this at the higher institution level.”

The astute educationist confirmed the global acceptance of IBLT’s certificate.

Our recognition has passed through diplomatic channels from Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to the Ministry of Education and NYSC. Our certificate has been evaluated, our authorisation and accreditation number is open for verification from the Ministry of Higher Education and Research in Togo, so it is recognised, and it is accepted. As we speak, World Education Services (WES) already have IBLT’s certificate and transcripts’ to evaluate for our students that want to study in U.S and Canada for their masters programmes and it has been evaluated, our certificate is recognized home and abroad.

The Lagos State born education enthusiast elucidates on the institution’s selling point, academic and operation challenges.

“Our selling point courses especially in health related is NURSING, PHARMACY and PUBLIC HEALTH, because Nursing as a course protects their certifications and profession because it has to do with humanity and people’s life, by the time you study Nursing, you need to come home for adaptation and then council’s examination before the next council exams, our students will be presented to Nursing Council, for their council exams and adaptation.

Second, is resources, physical resources, as you know, in any organization, three resources are needed, we have the- Financial, Human and the Material resources, in the perspective of material, you know in education, development is a process, when you have one equipment, you discover that you cannot get all at a stretch at the same time, which is a challenge, but we are making effort to get them one after the other. On some of the courses, what we do is to partner with organizations’ in Togo that has the kind of equipment we need for practical experience with that our students are good to go.

Another challenge that has faced IBLT before and now is ‘unfaithfulness’, when you partner with somebody to work with you, they are not truthful, it has been like headache to the school management. Like I said, you give birth to a vision, but, one person cannot actualize that vision you need people, so one of the challenges confronting our institution is having people with like minds, but unfortunately people are not truthful, people that will be able to carry on with the vision when you’re not there, this has really affected the project we are carrying out.”

The passionate educationist gives reasons why students should enroll in the institution, IBLT

“It is excellence in bi-lingualism, somebody that study Physics or Pharmacy in Nigeria for instance, only studies with one language which is English. By the time you graduate, the market in which you can operate is streamline. West Africa is surrounded by Francophone Countries, but because of the bi-lingualism focus in IBLT, French especially and those that study International Relations and Diplomacy, we are incorporating another course now that will enable our students speak one or two more languages aside English, that alone is a selling point. By the time you graduated with us,, as a Nigerian, because of the French speaking language, you go to Cameroon, Ivory Coast and get a job, while you study business administration, so you stand out of anybody that study in Nigeria because of the bi-lingualism, you have a chance to learn in two or more languages that gives you an edge over somebody that study in Nigeria.”

The visionary educational administrator postulates what the future would be for IBLT in 10years time.

“I see IBLT in the next 10years to cover the whole West Africa Countries that is our target now, at the moment; we are in advanced discussion with our partners in Liberia and Ivory Coast on how our institution will be established.”

Institut Supérieur Bilingue Libre Du Togo (IBLT) is a University established by a scholar and more than a decade University Administrator, Dr. Peniel Danjuma AMANI, on the 14th November 2010 in the Republic of Benin, first as a University Institute (Institut Universitaire Bilingue Rehoboth) and moved to Togo as a full fledged University under strict regulations of Ministry of Higher Education and Research of Togolese Republic.

The University aims to become a citadel of knowledge based on the reflexes for research and professional training piloted by the Ćonseil African et Malgache pour l’Enseignement Supérieur’ CAMES, the body Accreditation of Francophone Countries of African Universities.

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