MoHERST Launches National TVET Committee

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From Fatoumata Joof, MoHERST

The Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoHERST), convened a stakeholder meeting on Friday, May 3rd 2024, to establish the National Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Committee. The committee was established to bring together all the relevant stakeholders in the TVET field, to address issues affecting TVET education in The Gambia.

The meeting which was held at the Ministry’s Conference hall was chaired by the Deputy Permanent Secretary (Technical) of the Ministry, Mr. Mucktarr M.Y.Darboe.

Speaking on behalf of the Minister, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Dr. YusuphaTouray, welcomed all participants and stakeholders.In his statement, Dr. Touray addressed the key challenges within The Gambia’s vocational education system, and highlighted in particular, the struggle of tertiary TVET centers to accommodate students from upper secondary schools due to insufficient technical backgrounds; thus leaving many of them uncertain about their career paths.

PS Touray emphasised the importance of bridging the gap between lower basic school curricula and tertiary technical centers to address the scarcity of suitable candidates for TVET training. This, he explained, was what prompted the Ministry to initiate training programmes to prepare individuals for admission into these skills centres.

Another significant challenge identified by PS Touray is the lack of a strong technical foundation among TVET students, which impacts their integration into the workforce post-graduation. He asserted the need for early exposure to technical training, drawing examples from advanced nations like Germany, South Korea and China.

PS. Touray highlighted the importance of collaboration between MoHERST, EU, ECOWAS and other stakeholders in the prioritization ofTVET, which can empower Gambian youth and expand opportunities for skills acquisition and employment.

Harping on the importance of establishing a National TVET Committee, PS Touray noted that it would provide technical assistance to MoHERST for its structural transformation which includes expanding access to relevant, quality and inclusive TVET, as well as rehabilitating and rebranding correctional centers and prisons, in order to equip convicts and inmates with skills for reintegration into society.

In addition, PS Touray explained that the Committee would also empower agricultural centres and women gardeners to enhance food production and supply, thereby boosting youth participation in the agricultural sector.

In concluding his statement, the Permanent Secretary noted that the Committee will oversee the implementation of all planned TVET projects in The Gambia, by utilising funds from the EU, World Bank and other sources. The Committee, he continued, would also support MoHERST in managing resources, selecting and empowering candidates and providing training to students, by focusing on transitioning suitable candidates from technical senior secondary schools into tertiary and higher education TVET centres, in order to address workforce integration challenges.

The Political Adviser to the Resident Representative of the President of ECOWAS in The Gambia, Mr. Claude Kondor, expressed ECOWAS’s commitment to advancing human capital development through technical and vocational education.

The Project Officer in Education Science and Technology Youth of the EU, Mr. BubaTamba, also highlighted the importance of a skilled youthful population in tackling unemployment challenges, and rejected stereotypes associating technical and vocational fields with dropouts. He emphasised the need to empower youth in these areas in order to unleash their potential.

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