By Juldeh Njie
The Gambia Press Union has recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of The Gambia at a ceremony held at the university in Kanifing.
The MoU among others things will enable students who hold a diploma or advance diploma from the GPU School of Journalism to transfer to the UTG and start from year two or three.
Speaking shortly before the signing, GPU training manager, Sang Mendy described the partnership as momentous, saying the event is special because the only two schools of journalism in the country have come together to improve the profession.
He said they have longed for this partnership but warned that it “doesn’t mean that people can use our school as a back-way to the UTG. One must earn the grades and entry requirements to enter into the University for us to recommend them for enrollment.”
He said GPU and its partners GAMES were planning this for the past seven years and the objective has always been to make the GPU school a leading training provider in journalism.
“The students who passed through the GPU School of Journalism a few years ago are manning high positions in newsrooms while a few are in government. This is what we want to maintain,” Mendy said.
He continued: “The GPU and SJDM programmes have similar objectives. The only difference is ours is vocational with more hands-on while the SJDM is academic. This is why cooperation between the two schools is needed and highly welcomed.”
He however said the cooperation between the two institutions isn’t just for transfer of students, “we can jointly organize events, exchange programmes and lecturers as well use each other’s facilities when the need arises.”
He thanked Nana Grey-Johnson, the dean of SJDM and assured him that the students they will recommend for UTG will be those with academic repute and exemplary character.
Nana Grey-Johnson thanked EU-UNESCO for their commitment and support.
“If the GPU delivers to expectations the UTG School of Journalism will benefit from its input, capacity building and those coming from the GPU can start from certificate level second year and advance diploma, third year. It will also enable the two schools to cooperate in the area of capacity building and co-organizing events related to journalism,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Papa Njie UNESCO projectmanager, harped on the importance of the MoU, saying it will strengthen the two institutions so that quality journalists can be produced.