Graduates of the Gambia College Higher National Diploma in Public Health program
have expressed their frustration to The Alkamba Times (TAT), after being rendered jobless since passing out in May 2021.
They said this was caused by the failure of the Ministry of Health to settle their outstanding bills with The Gambia College.
At least thirteen (13) graduates are affected, after the college authorities refused to issue a certificate to any graduate owing a penny to the tuition-driven college.
In 2018, these graduates got a government scholarship to study at the college, with the promise to be fully sponsored by the Ministry of Health in Banjul.
However, since their graduation last year all 13 students are yet to receive their attestation report from the Gambia College, which is adamant that the Ministry must first complete the payment of all arrears owed to the college.
“It is true that we (Gambia College) have not issued any attestation to the affected students. They were under the sponsorship of Ministry of Health, which is yet to complete the payments due to the college,” Demba SM Yabou, the Registrar Gambia College said.
He added: “We all know that the college is a tuition-driven school, and we have come to the decision that only those who make complete payments will be issued with their documents”.
He said they have been discussing with the Ministry “to settle the bills of the students so that the college can issue their attestation to them.”
Dr. Buba Manjang, Director of Public Health at the Ministry, meanwhile is blaming the college authorities for causing the delay in issuing attestation papers to these recent graduates of the School of Public Health.
He added that they were not following the right procedures to pay the bills of the affected graduates.
Dr Manjang confirmed that the Health Ministry is discussing with the college authorities on settling the arrears, so as to enable the graduates to get their certificates.
“We are aware of this situation and we are working seriously to address it”, he declared.
Dr Manjang did not say how much the government owes the college, and when the payments will be made.
But he argued that this situation would have been avoided, if the proper procedures were followed by the Gambia College.
According to our sources, the graduates were supposed to finish their program in December 2020, but we end up completing in May 2021 as a result of the pandemic.
Since then they have been made to shuttle between the college and the Ministry countless times without any success, and the lack of papers has meant they could not get a job.