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Assembly approves motion to establish 3 state universities

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By Tabora Bojang

The Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology has tabled a motion for lawmakers to endorse the establishment of University of Applied Sciences, Engineering and Technology, the Civil Service University of the Gambia and University of Education, The Gambia.

All the universities will operate as state-owned.

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Presenting the motion, Minister Gomez said the transformation of the schools of education of the Gambia College and the University of The Gambia into University of Education is a crucial step towards the higher education reform agenda, ensuring the provision of quality and relevant teacher training, school management and planning programs.

He said this new university will deliver degree programs and will be responsible for training world-class teachers, educators, education managers and planners with reduced cost implications.

According to the minister, the government has taken a policy decision to transform the Management Development Institute into University of Civil Service reflecting “forward thinking and strategic planning for the betterment” of The Gambia.

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He disclosed that a critical element for such transformation is to ensure that the civil service is professionalized and that every cadre of civil service can only be accessed after the requisite professional training.

“With this new initiative, graduates can contribute to international knowledge exchange and collaboration, which may benefit the Gambia’s reputation and foster partnership with overseas institutions,” Prof Gomez told deputies.

On the transformation of GTTI to USET, Minister Gomez stated it is earmarked to address the critical transformation agenda of youth empowerment by providing life-long technical skills that will adequately prepare them for the labour market as competent employees and job creators.

He disclosed that USET would maintain the original technical programs offered by GTTI and added to them will be degree programmes in 3 engineering areas. It will also run programs for entrepreneurship and innovation.

The minister urged lawmakers to support the motion.

While the majority of lawmakers okayed the establishment of the new universities, some raised concerns it would have some financial implications for their smooth operations. It was passed with a majority support.

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