By Mariama Marong
The Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Badara Joof, on Wednesday the 24th of March, challenged lecturers of the University of The Gambia (UTG) to not only demand 25% or 50% of salary increment, but also justify that demand by adding value on research and on the education system.
Minister Joof made this remark on the inauguration of the UTG main library and the opening of the university career and wellness center for counseling and guiding.
Joof said it is important to justify the added value of salary increment in the plans and national development plan of the government and make sure that those plans are push forward for development.
“This is a challenge for UTG that is not just a talking shop but a university that has an apply aspect of it and the apply aspect of it must be linked to the development needs of this country and development of its people through well research and learning,” he said.
Minister Joof said the country has been facing issues regarding food self-sufficiency in rice and up to date, there is no food security. He said as a university, they should be informing the ministry of agriculture on their policies, plans and programs for the betterment of self-sufficiency in rice in the next few years.
The public officer also used the moment to challenge the staff of UTG, MDI, Gambia College and GTTI to ensure that their students link the research work they are doing with the development needs of the country.
Meanwhile, Joof said the library has both traditional and E-library learning materials, thus, he urged both staff and students to use the materials and domesticate them in the development plans of the country.
“Since I was going to school, we are told that we want to be self- sufficient in our stable food rice,” he said. “When will it be?”
“How can UTG faculty of agriculture use these facilities in the library and make sure that we have those things here with us and how to use those things in solving the poverty issue of this country,” he queried.