Lamin Minteh who is also the general manager of the institution was speaking to assembled journalists during a press briefing on Monday at their head office at Red Cross building, Westfield.
He stated: “We are partnering with universities in Russia that has more than 250,000 foreign students from about 200 countries that have chosen Russia as their destination to obtain higher education because studying in Russia is prestigious, accessible and in vogue while life there is interesting and versatile. The country covers 12 percent of land area and one of the most multi-national countries in the world with 160 nationalities and representatives of the entire world’s co-existing together in peace.”
Minteh said the Russia Africa Centre for University Service (RACUS) has representative offices in 61 countries and 9 cities around the world including The Gambia.
He added: “Study in Russia is funded by the Russian government and has an official representative in The Gambia and Senegal with the mandate to scrutinise students’ documents and send them for scholarship programme whereas students also need to meet the qualifications in order to acquire a scholarship package to study abroad. Any student that wants a scholarship for a bachelor’s degree in Russia should score 70 percent of grades in high school performance which includes grade 10 to 12 results and WASSCE results while for the master’s degree, students need to have a bachelor’s degree from a recognised institution and a transcript of GPA 3 points above with a valid passport that lasts until 2017.”
He further revealed that they are partnering with over 200 universities such as Russia, Gadez University of Turkey, Ajou University of South Korea, China, Qatar, Kuwait, Romania India and a host of other countries that have their criteria of selection for bachelors, masters and PhD levels.
“We have sent 27 students to the United States of America, 17 to the United Kingdom and 4 to Spain and plans are under way to organise an educational exhibition in May where 21 universities from Russia will be coming to The Gambia and over 200 universities from Asia, Europe, America, Africa will also converge in Senegal for another bigger educational exhibition which will serve as a channel for students to discuss with lecturers and get direct admission.”
He added that the centre helps to facilitate the scholarship package with an attached service fee of 200 dollars (over D9,000) for postage charges, assistance for admission and licence.
Sambujang Dampha, programme officer of Centre for Excellence Consultancy said the centre is not operating in a vacuum but has forged strategic partnership with relevant organisations in and outside the country.
He further emphasised:”The more we go, the more everything gets expensive; nothing gets cheap, and there has never been a time when a cup of rice decreases in this country and that applies to all other commodities and education stands out. In fact it is becoming the most expensive commodity.”
He added: “We have visited the Personnel Management Office (PMO) that has the mandate for all related government trainings and management of the civil service but we realised that they are also trying to look at relevant partners that will also facilitate trainings for them at that level. Even the government doesn’t find training easy so it is good we partner with them for various reasons.
“There is Vision 2020, the Poverty Reduction Strategic Paper, Vision 2016 and the Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment are the national policy documents that outline the policy of The Gambia government as far as development is concerned. Key in all these documents is the public-private partnership in education. There is no government on this planet that single-handedly handles the educational challenges of its citizens. It is the partnership between the private sector and the government sector that will revolutionise relevant and quality education in this country.
“The Gambia needs more agronomists to advise the farmers if we don’t want to import rice and it is just not merely tilling the land or you can have one million tractors but it does not give you what it takes to be self-sufficient in rice. We need this core of people like all of us who will go out and read areas that are relevant to development objectives of the country. That is the way it goes because, if you go and study nuclear physics, that has no relevance to this country. So we should be selective in our career development.”]]>