By Ndey Sowe
The Government of the Gambia plans to establish an emerging center for Science, Technology, Engineering and Entrepreneurship at the Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI).
This disclosure came on Friday June 5th 2020, during the inauguration of the ACE Impact Committee for Development (ACE Impact) project. The World Bank and the Association of African Universities (AAU) initiated project on Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence, aims to build capacities of African Universities for Africa’s human capital formation and research.
Edward Ceasar Mansal, Director General of GTTI said the ceremony provides them the opportunity to begin their transformation journey with experienced stakeholders, in order to deliver the expected outcomes.
“TVET is the driving force for economic growth and industrial development,” he said, adding that this should be the common goal of the Gambian people. He said GTTI as an ‘Emerging Center’, possesses various strengths and advantages which led to its resilience and achievement to lead the way in providing the required TVET skills for employment.
Mod M.K. Secka, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoHERST), said the project anchors on the aspiration of the Gambian people to make education relevant to the needs of the market, the individual and society. He remarked:
“The Gambia’s education system has suffered a mismatch and we have decided to join the race for a transformation that shall ensure instructional quality and relevance”. He said the program is designed to train students to make use of the curricular to address problems identified as their individual or group projects.
Dr. Gibril Jaw, Chief Executive Officer at the National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority (NAQAA) described the initiative as a laudable one. Whilst pledging full commitment towards the project, Dr. Jaw said “policy must be backed by plans and education must be relevant to the people in the society; that we cannot continue to work in sorrow especially as a University and urges people not to be job seekers but creators.”
Falu C. Njie, former Electronics Manager at the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) hopes the initiative will not be part of the previous one: policy without implementation. He urges the officials to fill in the gap and to ensure to put it into practice and encouraged students to do the same with their work.