By: Communications Unit of Higher Education Ministry
The Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoHERST), Honourable Proffessor Pierre Gomez, together with senior management officials from the Ministry, have embarked on a familiarization tour starting with the Gambia College headquarter campus in Brikama, and then proceeding to The University of The Gambia, Faraba Bantang campus. This was done on the 11th May, 2022.
The purpose of the visits was for the Minister to gain first-hand information on the developments and challenges of these institutions.
During his visit to The Gambia College, the Honourable Minister received warm welcomes and congratulatory messages from the Principal and staff of the College. The Principal of the College, coupled with key staff, highlighted some of the challenges facing the educational institute, and their needs. These include; Need for the development of Research in the school and a Library upgrade, Transportation of students and teachers in satellite campuses, Support in the transformation of Gambia College to a Teacher Education University, and Infrastructural development, Subvention, among others.
The Honourable Minister, Prof. Gomez expressed gratitude for the warm welcome and stated that the college is his home. He took the opportunity to tour around the college campus visiting the library, and lab that is undergoing construction.
“Gambia College is where I started and learned the art. This was my first work place,” he said, assuring, that the Ministry will do its level best to change the trajectory of this institution.
In addressing the problems and needs of the college, Hon. Gomez underline that MoHERST is working towards; A paradigm shift by revamping tertiary and higher education institutions in the country and ensure that the curriculum is fit for purpose – A way of doing this, he outlined, is by embedding entrepreneurial skills education as part of the curriculum, so that graduates have the option of either working for the government/private sector or become self-independent; The digitalization of The Gambia College Library by making students have access to E-Journals just as was done at the UTG – he notified that MoHERST is working on having a national digital library, whereby students from any higher and tertiary institution in the country can have access to first hand learning materials; Providing support to the Research component of the college – According to the Minister, research should be strengthened in the college so that it can inform policy makers; Supporting Gambia College in its transformation phase into a Teacher Education University
He informs that plans are currently rolled out for this development as there is a motion already that Gambia College will work with Milton Margai College of Education and Technology (MMCET) and Freetown Polytechnic.
Furthermore, Hon. Gomez assures the full support of his ministry, while soliciting the support of staff and students of the college in overcoming the challenges.
For him, education must be the bedrock of any sustainable development.
“We want action. Now is the time to work, work for Gambia, for God and for country. We will reach the mountain top. We will use education to free our people. The youth will be agents of change for development. In the coming years, the college will be different” Hon. Prof Gomez assured.
From The Gambia college, the Minister and team proceeded to The University of The Gambia Faraba Bantang Campus.