By Yankuba Jallow
The Islamic Online University (IOU) has celebrated 10th years of success at their campus in Kanifing.
The event attracted scholars, students, parents and many other people from the private and public sector, partners within and outside the educational sector, heads and students of Arabic from other University campuses, friends and well-wishers, faculty and staff of IOU.
As part of activities marking the tenth anniversary, a symposium was organized to educate and inform the community of how the IOU has globally completed a decade long of hard work and dedication in providing quality and tuition free education.
The Institution’s motto is ‘‘Changing the Nation Through Education’’. Many people have completed their studies from this Institution.
The Guest speaker for the occasion, Momodou Sabally who also doubles as Managing Director of Creative Future Thinkers Media Group (CFTM) and Editor-in-chief of GLife Magazine, heaped praises on the Islamic Online University (IOU) for their creativity in providing higher education online. Speaking on the topic ‘‘Use of Internet in Seeking Authentic Knowledge’’, Mr. Sabally hailed the IOU and said ‘‘the project of teaching online is on the cutting edge of technology and that as far as higher education is concerned the future is online’’.
He stressed that as much as there is a lot of knowledge online, there are pitfalls which we must guard against in our search for authentic knowledge. The Former MD of GRTS cautioned students to always check their source of information for authenticity and reliability.
Mr. Sabally noted that the Keys to seeking authentic knowledge online are Sincerity, Wisdom and the holy Quran.
He advised the students that what is important is ikhlaas (sincerity), whilst wisdom is vitally needed to filter and use the knowledge they acquire; that they should also let the Quran be their searchlight in this forest of information called the Internet. Mr. Sabally added that whatever contravenes this practice must be dumped, no matter how plausible that information may appear.
“The Internet and the many things that ride on it, bring us huge opportunities and the opportunities are great but so are the challenges,” he said.
The Country Representative of IOU, Mrs. Aminata Jaiteh said they were delighted to witness and shared their success with the general public as an online institution.
She thanked God for enabling them witness another occasion marking the tenth anniversary since the inception of IOU.
The New Vice Chancellor of IOU, Dr. Mariama Sarr Ceesay described the anniversary as an inclusive reflection sighting the fact that the IOU is moving to become a Center of Excellence that will focus attention on affordability, accessibility and authenticity of acquiring higher education globally through modern technologies like the internet.
The founder and Chancellor of the Online Islamic University, Dr. Bilal Philips disclosed that since the beginning of the IOU in 2007, more than 300,000 students have studied at the institution from more than 228 countries globally.
He added that the university has achieved unimaginable success with regards to spreading its message globally. He further indicated that three years after its beginning, the Institution begun its bachelors programs which includes bachelors of Arts in Islamic studies. ‘‘We then added courses like Business, Education, Information Technology and Psychology and many others. All these developments took place in line with the Motto changing ‘the Ummah through Education,’ he said.
Dr. Bilal expressed gratefulness to Allah that they have been able to reach out to the Ummah as they hope to even reach out more to create a greater impact.
“We would hope that you join this university and benefit from what it has to offer so that we will truly be successful with regards to each and every individual in taking the message of Islam to the world,” Dr. Bilal concluded.