The meeting was called to order at 3:30 pm by the Personal Assistant to the Director of NCTVA, Mrs. Adama Bannister, with silent prayers followed by self-introduction of all present. In her opening remarks, Mrs. Bannister welcomed all, especially the representatives from the TVIs for their response to the invitation.
Mrs. Bannister explained that the purpose of the meeting was to inform the TVIs that NCTVA was about to start the process of printing original certificates and that NCTVA cannot do the certification process without their cooperation. The purpose was to get suggestions from the TVIs on how to go about the required processes involved. There were representatives of eighteen (18) institutions in attendance of the meeting, these institutions were: St. Joseph Vocational Center Kissy, Luban College, NABSERRAH, IBATECH –SL, MIMETECH, EMIBEX College, SULISHA, Othodox College, CIBMAT College, LICCSAL College, IBSA, COHES, YWCA Vocational Institute, TECT Jui, Umar Bin Al Khatab, KIPAS, KCTI and EFICO.
Mr. Wilfred M. Mansaray, head of administration at NCTVA, explained about the past strategies that the NCTVA secretariat had been using for the printing of certificates from 2002 to 2015 for Polytechnics. In his remarks, he said that NCTVA was established in 2002 and students were expected to get their certificate not long after sitting NCTVA exams, however, students had been taking the NCTVA exams and had not received any certificate yet. He further told the meeting that the proper certification process started in 2017 and that, fortunately, the data was intact, i.e. the names and results of the candidates that took the exams. It is now only a matter of verifying and processing said data. While some candidates had received their certificate, others were facing the issue that only their initials were submitted at the time of their NCTVA exams and as a result, NCTVA was only able to prepare the certificates for candidates with complete data. In that regard, NCTVA took the opportunity to explain to the TVIs on how to follow the proper certification process. One point of discussion was to get a focal person from each institution to work with the NCTVA Certification Team to verify and produce the correct data for their candidates. NCTVA will then organise a trip to the TVIs and take recent photographs of the interested graduates, a detailed timetable will be shared with the TVIs. After the information is verified and the photos taken, graduates can then come to the NCTVA office to collect their certificates. Although students had paid for NCTVA exams when they took them, they will need to pay a small fee for their NCTVA certificate as well.
Mr. Mansaray explained that NCTVA was now working on 2016 to 2018 certificates and after having completed the process, NCTVA would contact the TVET Institutions just as they did for the polytechnics, however, NCTVA needs assistance from the TVIs, as they have to be involved thoroughly in the process due to the high number of graduates. NCTVA was very happy that TVIs were represented in such large numbers and expressed their hope that with their cooperation, the certification process would go smoothly and that TVIs were encouraged to come up with suggestions to move the process forward in a timely manner.
Lastly, Mr. Abdul Razak Mansaray, head of ICT at NCTVA, gave a short introduction to the Integrated Certification Software (ICS), which is an online tool hosted by NCTVA and developed by local IT developer iDT Labs and serves to digitise the entirety of the NCTVA certification processes. Prospective candidates will be able to apply online for NCTVA accredited programmes in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) at institutions all across Sierra Leone. NCTVA examination candidates will also register online through ICS. The platform’s web address is www.ics.nctva.org. Users can simply sign up with a personal email address to become part of NCTVA’s TVET system. He further told the meeting that NCTVA, with support from the EU and GIZ and in collaboration with 14 TVIs, is launching the ICS pilot phase in January 2021. He welcomed any institution that has interest in the new digital certification tool to join the ICS pilot phase.
Mrs. Bannister asked the TVET institutions to identify one representative at each institution to serve as the focal person to help verify candidates information and to share their contact details with NCTVA.