The Minister of Higher Education, Science, Research, and Technology, Prof. Pierre Gomez, has told members of the National Assembly that the Country has no plans to construct an Arabic University anytime soon, as the University of The Gambia offers Islamic Studies programs.
Answering questions from lawmakers on Thursday at the legislative chambers in Banjul, the Minister said students wanting to study islamic studies can enroll at the Country’s only public university.
He was asked by a member of Bundungka Kunda, Sulayman Jammeh, whether the Government plans to build a state-owned university for Arabic education.
The Minister informed MPs that other universities in the Country also offer opportunities for Arabic students to pursue higher education in islamic studies and Arabic.
He added that the International Open University and Alhisham University offer Arabic programs, including Islamic Studies, for students graduating from grade 12 in the Arabic senior secondary school system.
The Lawmaker for Foni Bondali, Pa Dembo Sanneh, told the higher education minister that his constituency suffered from high school dropouts and asked if Government has any plans to establish a vocational and skills training center in Foni Bondali to cater to the community.
In reply, Professor Pierre Gomez said that since Bondali is in the Fonis, just as Kanilai and Ndemban are, it is assumed that the needs of the people of Foni, including Ndemban, have been addressed,
“Classes will commence in both Kanilai and Ndemban in the next academic year,” He announced.
Member of Sami Constituency Alfusainey Ceesay asked for an update on a feasibility study conducted to construct multipurpose skills centers in various regions of the Country.
Professor Gomez responded by stating that the skills gap survey was carried out by the National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority NAQA in 2018-19. The report highlighted essential skills gaps in each region of the Country.
” The Government has laid the foundation stone for Wassu and Sapo multipurpose skills center and Agric Business, he said, adding: ‘ Mansakonko skills center is fully operational as well as that of Njulagan.’