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Published On: Thu, Jan 4th, 2024

MOHERST, Stakeholders Validate Report on Gambia College’s Transformation into University of Education

The Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoHERST) yesterday, 3rd of January 2024, commenced a two-day validation workshop to review the Gambia College Transformation Committee (GCTC) report on the transformation of the Gambia College into a University of Education (UOE).

The meeting affords stakeholders in the education sector the opportunity to review the draft transformation roadmap to ensure the provision of relevant training to produce quality-teachers and specialists in various fields of education.

The event was chaired by the Director of Tertiary and Higher Education of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Technology, Mr. Antony Mendy.

In his opening remarks, the Honourable Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Professor Pierre Gomez, extended appreciation to the task force committee for coming up with the report.

Minister Gomez reiterated that the plan is to transfer all other Schools of Gambia College in to the University of The Gambia, except for the School of Education, will house the transformed Gambia College. Equally, the separation, he said, will enable a focused and specialised approach to teacher education, fostering an environment conducive to producing high-calibre educators and specialists in various fields of education.

“As we embark on this transformational journey, our focus is driven by a steadfast dedication to fostering quality education, creating robust career pathways for teachers, and ensuring their training is elevated to degree levels. This transformational agenda is not merely about upgrading an institution; it is about elevating the education standards in The Gambia. We aim to increase equitable access to tertiary and higher education, ensuring that every Gambian can receive a world-class education,” Minister Gomez elucidated.

The Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Prof. Pierre Gomez further noted that due to its pursuit of excellence, the Ministry proposes a holistic review of the curriculum to align with the current and future demands of the country’s education system.

He pointed out that the curriculum must be dynamic and continually evolving to meet the education system’s current and future demands. “This includes incorporating innovative teaching methods, embracing adaptive technologies, and fostering critical thinking and analytical skills. This forward-thinking approach will enable us produce not just teachers but transformative educators who can adapt to the evolving needs of society,” he stated.

He concluded that the roadmap is not just a plan; that it is a promise for the future of The Gambia.

Representing the Minister of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE), Mr. Adama Jimba Jobe, Deputy Permanent Secretary (Programmes) at MoBSE also highlighted the importance of the report in trying to address quality education in the system. “If we are able to graduate teachers from the core areas, we can salvage this country,” he said.

DPS Jobe assured that MoBSE is willing to join hands with MoHERST in the whole process to ensure that there are graduate teachers even at the Early Childhood Education (ECD) level.

For his part, Dr. Katim Seringe Touray, Chairperson of the Transformation Committee, highlighted the process the committee took to produce the report. He explained that the report is the output of thorough consultations of stakeholders and an online survey.

The Chairperson of the Gambia College Governing Council, Dr. Alieu Badara Senghore reminded that The Gambia College was established many years ago with the vision of contributing to the development of The Gambia by providing quality middle-level training and skills development for personnel in the education, agriculture, and health sectors of the economy. These personnel, he indicated, are now trained in The Gambia and specifically at The Gambia College.

He assured the Ministry, of the Governing Council and the College Management’s commitment towards the vision of working diligently to produce a university that will train quality teachers to groom the next generation of Gambians.

The Coordinator of MRC Holland Foundation, Dr. Henriette Sonko said she is impressed with the boldness taken by MoHERST to transform the education system in The Gambia. According to her, “If you want to change something, you must start with friction, and I am glad that the friction there is transforming The Gambia College into a University of Education.”

She thanked MoHERST under the stewardship of the Honourable Minister. Professor Gomez, and the task force committee for their gigantic efforts in coming up with this report for validation.

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