MoHERST Launches Joint E-Learning, Digital Library Platform

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By NdeySowe

The Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoHERST), on Friday, September 22 launched a Joint E-Learning and Digital Library Platform. 

The ceremony was conducted at the office premises in Bijilo and attended by key partners and stakeholders.  During the last few years, the ministry has been working on establishing a joint E-Learning and Digital Library platform for all tertiary and higher education institutions in The Gambia. The process was initiated during one of the Sector Retreats in ABCAS followed by a series of consultations with T and HE institutions and the development of a functional framework.

UNESCO – NATCOM is supporting the initiative through the UNESCO Participation Programme for the 2022 – 2023 Biennium under the project titled: “STEM Education Management Platform: Improving Performance and Management of STEM Educational Service Delivery in The Gambia.” 

However, the idea was conceived in 2015 and was presented during the National Education Policy Conference in October, 2015.

The Joint E-Learning and Digital Library Platform, launching in The Gambia, is a ground-breaking initiative designed to revolutionise education. It’s a game-changer with objectives including addressing the COVID-19 impact, improving data-driven decision-making, promoting equity, and boosting education access.

Key features encompass: a vast content repository, offering interactive modules, videos, and assessments.

The Minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoHERST) Professor Pierre Gomez keynote speech highlights its transformative potential, promoting hope and opportunity for all.

“We gather here today, to launch the Joint e-Learning and Digital Library Platform, a platform that was developed to benefit all, regardless of whether an institution is public or private. It is developed pro patria, it is for the Gambia, it is for Gambians,” Mr Gomez indicated. 

“We now have in our hands tools that can enable us to leapfrog into the league of advanced nations that exploit and deploy cutting edge technologies of big data analytics and artificial intelligence to provide innovative educational service delivery.”

Maimuna Sidibeh, the Acting Secretary General UNESCO-NATCOM, said the platform will expose more students in the STEM and vocational resources, citing that the development of the platform is a proactive step and this lunching is evidence of the higher ministry’s quest to promote innovative thinking or ways to address the current and future educational and professional challenges of the country.

In addition, Ms Sidibeh said it is hoped that this platform will not only broaden, ease, and ensure equitable access to STEM knowledge and resources but also enhance management and operational efficiency in education.

Ms Sidibeh remarked: “The NATCOM hopes that this platform will address and expose more women participation in the Sciences and engineering. We encourage the use of the guidelines of UNESCO’s STEM and Gender Advancement (SAGA) project and the L’Oreal UNESCO Programme for Women in Science to encourage more women to participate in these subjects.”

Mucktarr MY. Darboe, Deputy Permanent Secretary, MoHERST, revealed that the journey began with a vision to address the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it evolved into a comprehensive Higher Education Transformation Agenda; adding that through extensive collaboration with technical staff, experts from Fusion Mobile, and invaluable input from their esteemed tertiary and higher education institutions, they have created a platform that will redefine learning in The Gambia.

Mr Darboe went on to say: “The Joint e-Learning and Digital Library Platform is not just a technological marvel; it is a catalyst for change. It brings together diverse features, from a comprehensive content repository to real-time data analytics, all aimed at delivering high-quality education accessible to all Gambians. It is about fostering inclusivity, supporting educators, and empowering students to excel.”