Political scientist Dr Ismaila Ceesay has prevailed on young people to be social ambassadors and to preach ‘peace and diversity’ in these trying times of “unprecedented political and social fiasco”.
The outspoken lecturer was speaking at a graduation ceremony of Buckingham Academy, an international accredited school based in Brusubi.
“I challenge you to be social ambassadors, preach and practice peace and support diversity. Do not promote tribalism, for we have seen the way it has destroyed nations,” Ceesay noted.
He went on: “God loves diversity, let us celebrate our diversity first, we are human, and then Gambia, [because] what binds us as Muslims and Christians, Jolas and Fulas is stronger than that which divides us.”
Speaking further on the theme “reach for the stars”, Dr Ceesay pushed the young graduates to take positive actions and sacrifices in nation-building in order to transform the country for a better future.
He said the young should be ready to serve their country, and not be seen as passive citizens who “moan and complain about the system but not willing to make the sacrifice to find solutions or work toward a better way.
“Your education is meaningless if it does not transform your lives and help develop your communities, your nation.
If you want to reach the stars, it takes hard work, dedication, discipline, humility, honesty, and integrity and you should not let cynics limit your horizon and your resolve to reach the stars.”
Dr Ceesay, who received the prestigious Pan-African Humanitarian Award last year for his outstanding leadership qualities and contribution to the development of the continent, further reminded graduates that as the future looks uncertain with current global challenges, young people need to be “open and ready” to take on current global challenges, and reflect on the future of the country.
“The children entering education this year will be young adults and ready for higher education in 2035.
How can we create an education system that will ensure that we prepare them for jobs that have not yet been created, for technologies that have not yet been invented, to solve problems that have not yet been anticipated? Traditional undergraduate education through information transfer might no longer be a viable form of education to ensure employment and a career.
“We need a paradigm shift in the way we think about our education, and orient it in a system to build the society we want. This will help us produce the knowledge and technology needed to solve our many current and future problems,” he stated.
The colourful ceremony was also attended by prominent personalities including Mrs Adelaide Ngabonziza of SOS, Mrs Ellen Kandiero of WAIS and Fatou Saine Gaye of Gaye Njorro Academy.