UTG Graduates over 1,300 Students

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By Assan Bah

The President of the Republic and Chancellor of the University of The Gambia President Adama Barrowlast Sunday conferred over one-thousand three hundred (1,300) degrees on both undergraduate and postgraduate students of the UTG, at their 16thConvocation ceremony. 

This year’s graduation, which was held at the recently inaugurated Faraba campus, witnessed the attendance of high-profile dignitaries from both the Gambia, and scholars in academia from sister universities across the Sub-region, parents and well-wishers of the graduates.  

Mr Mathew P. Ndure, the Chairperson of the UTG Governing Council, advised the graduates to always remember their deans’recommendation that they have been found “worthy in character and learning”, and told them to embrace discipline, honesty and professionalism.

“Discipline and honesty are two traits of good character that I want you to embrace as you face the world to work. The impression one gets these days is that the two-character attributes of discipline and honesty are the most embattled virtues within the general citizenry. Indiscipline is rampant in our work ethics, among road users, drivers and pedestrians alike, and in our attitude to the disposal of waste. Whatever is perceived or real, the existence of corruption at significant levels persists in our collective psyche, the root cause of which is a serious deficit in honesty within us as a nation,’’ Mr Ndure said.

While congratulating the graduates, he implored them to always be worthy ambassadors of the UTG and their families.

On his part, the Vice Chancellor of the UTG, Professor Herbert Robison, said the total number graduating students from both undergraduate and postgraduate programs is 1,329 comprising 735 males and 594 females.

“In the school of Agriculture and Environmental Science, 38 students (17 males and 21 females), the School of Arts and Sciences (150 Males and 130 Females), the School of Business and Public Administration (195 Males and 222 Females); the School of Education 214 students, the School of Engineering and Architecture (21 Males and 9 Females), the Faculty of Law (22 Males and 23 Females); the School of Information Technology and Communication 51 students 41 Males and 10 Females; School of Journalism and Digital Media 12 students 2 Males and 10 Females; the School of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences 151 students 77 Males and 74 Females, and 91 students from the School of Graduate Studies and Research of which 48 are Males and 43 Females,’’ he said.

He reported that for the first in history, the UTG has graduated Civil, Electrical and Electronic engineering graduates, and said the UTG focused on three main areas of teaching and learning with research services to the community, by supporting key stakeholders in both the public and private sectors and civil society development partners.

“In the area of teaching and learning in 2023 with a student population of 6,719, the university successfully delivered 54 undergraduate programmes, 22 postgraduate and Masters Programs and 4 PhD programs,’’ he said, adding that, “the enrolment in January 2023 the University received 996 applicants and admitted 562 students due to limited space and infrastructure. The School of Medicine and Allied Health Sciences and the Faculty of Law, did not enrol any new student for January 19th2023, because of the lack of clinical space at the school of medicine and there were challenges in recruiting full-time staff and lecturers at the faculty of law.’’

He saidthat this gave them 56% successful rate of applicants. In September 2023, he said they received 1,644 applications and admitted 748 students giving them a success rate of 47% in terms of gender with 58% males and 42% females.

“It is also worth noting that there are limited programs in Agriculture, Information, Communication Technology and Communication, Tourism and Culture. The UTG must respond to the needs of the Gambia and we are taking measures to address that because it is a considerable opportunity for expansion of our postgraduate programs of scope and scale to respond to the Gambia National development plan 2023 – 2027,” he said.

Delivering his convocation statement on theme:‘Empowering and Inspiring Change Agents through Education and Training’, University Chancellor and President of the Gambia Adama Barrow, said “if there are graduates who have never reflected on how to contribute effectively to transforming the conditions of their families, communities and the nation, this is the moment of inspiration for them to devote to impact their lives to this very challenging aspect of responsible citizenship.”

“Nation building requires genuine patriotic change agents to identify, initiate and guide the necessary change process to shape the future to positive, social transformation of our institutions and communities. Given the current situation we have to continually grow, inspire and empower change agents to drive our ‘Yiriwa’ National Development Plan 2023 – 2027 while mainstreaming all relevant international arrangements. Quite naturally change is an unstoppable trend in life, it takes effect within and around us, but it can be constructively initiated and approached as every citizen is affected by change. It is best that we invent it as development agents and be part of the change process at worst we must not resist it whenever it comes about for the better because learning and education and training have change implications.’’

He said education and training empowers people to play vital roles in the socio-economic and political change process of their countries, and said his government will continue to provide educational opportunities for all irrespective of their socio-economic backgrounds or other circumstances. President Barrow advised the graduates to be bold, courageous and visionary in their pursuits and be thankful, considerate and kind. He also told them to dream big, but appreciate those who have contributed in their careers.

Kebba Secka, the Valedictorian of the 2023 cohort, called on the UTG administration to always give second chance to students who might want to divert from their field of studies and are committed to hard work, noting that having a background in one field does not necessarily mean that one will not do well in another. He advised students to continue to always maintain honesty and discipline and work hard in whatever they want in life.

“There is nothing impossible and the world offers endless opportunities for you. Stay serious and engaged, develop a broad skill set, build relationships and most importantly, take risks,” he told the graduates.

Protesters of poor Banjul ferry services charged 

By Amadou Manjang 

Modou Sisawo, the spokesperson for the Gambia Police Force (GPF) on Monday said that the twelve young Gambians, who were detained for staging an unlawful protest over poor ferry services were charged with unlawful assembly.  

So far, he added, the 12 protesters are released on bail. The young men, who include eight from Banjul and four from Nuimi – were rounded-up over their unauthorized participation in a procession on April 19, 2024.

The arrested individuals include Marr Nyang, Omar Cham, Abdou Bah and Fatou Ndure of NYP among others.

According to the police press statement, the arrest came after the Office of the Inspector General of Police denied a permit for the procession planned by the youth groups Nuimi Hand & Gambia Participate on April 17.

” Despite the denial, the youths from both groups decided to proceed unilaterally,” the press release stated.

The police strongly urge the public to remain law-abiding and ensure sustained peace and order.