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City of Banjul
Friday, September 25, 2020

The GPU/UTG Memorandum of Cooperation

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The Gambia Press Union and the University of The Gambia will after all, have to change their stands to encourage efficient and moral virtues if they are to pass on what actually are the societal expectations. Relations must be founded on grounds as pure as human needs. Our institutions are expected to respond to the demands of its tax payers. Even private institutions are made to contend with some social responsibilities that might not actually earn them any economic gain. But if they are to stay dominant in an interconnected social bond like ours, they must not betray those moral spectacles they are supposed to use in responding to social demands.

The two institutions with many common differences will only sustain positive reputation if their disturbances aren’t too loud. For them to gain their plausibility status in our society, they cannot declare their independence outside the demands of those whom they should help in the first place. They should reserve some restraitT within themselves and fairly correspond to rationality. In public scientific institutions, we are taught that the only way to earn institutional respect is not by ignoring the sincere needs of the people. By closing that MoU, to unjustifiably exclude the PRDP graduates, the two institutions have withdrawn their fundamental role in our society even so quickly. If we will in fact regard them as nation pillars in the long run, they must keep those national responsibilities even against the interest of their MoU. But here, the discrimination is against our national progress -scientifically wrong and socially misleading, to say the least.

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The GPU/UTG relationship has started with the wrong steps and it’s not surprising they will reap their treasures but, I doubt if they will meet their social objectives. Precisely, it is just here we must fight our ambivalence and establish strong national identity -that is general goodness and not institutional narrow minded philosophies. Let’s keep those fundamental beliefs outside our relations if they will decide against us. Truth and authority for the most part in institutional handling of issues is to be understood literally. We must interpret our needs to solve the problems of our times. The recent MoU is a transparent textbook institutional discrimination.
Institutional fundamentalism in certain circumstances can lead to extremism and at worst, social violence. For the past 2 decades we believe if institutional malpractice will survive, it will only do so at the periphery of private hands. But it seems our those thoughts were mere hallucinations. It’s not too far to spot that –the key agreement of the MoU is just that.

The best tutor in institutional practices is to serve those who need you the most and respond to them according to their needs. Our institutions should establish no nightmare in us; public fundamentalism has taken us by surprise but by now, we are about to see that education in The Gambia is a right but not yet part of those institutionalized human rights. It’s just right-claim without a duty provider. Those who are supposed to act to wimps of general goodness, find rest in nonsensical bureaucracy without having to reflect thoroughly what problems it drives deeply into our society. Sometimes we can detect such moral decadence very early at a level beyond silence.

Educational paradigms anywhere in the modern society respond to needs rather than create borders and avoid others. If we are to be fair at all, both groups should be treated equally. If not, the MoU’s political exclusion and academic rejection of their own-trained graduates will haunt their reputation in the long run. Because at the end of the journey, we are capable rational citizens, we can make decisions and bear their consequences (good or bad.)

But, when the two institutions relativize themselves from our social values that establish them in the first place, they would just earn everything but respect from a plural society that should treat all denominations equally. It either opposes all, or welcomes all. As at now, there are two conflicting morals, the GPU and the UTG. If they should abandon their cultural roles, they will soon lose that central stage they should always occupy. If we are to live in an atmosphere where we learn who we are, we must respect certain values in our traditions but not to be destroyed by education. But like all morals, education has also evolved to the stage of nothingness -we’ve now moved beyond the bonds that keep us together. If it’s this way, I think it’s wrong. In a plural society like ours where education is given the central stage without a public voice, there must be a continuing conservation between citizens to bring about our national goal –those things that make us who we are. But like this MoU, we are pushed to the house of an extended family where different conflicting voices continue to survive without necessarily leading to any success at all.

For our institutions to embed in them those human values that contribute to our wellbeing, they must maintain those general acquired social values greater than a single institution. Such a culture might be just middling into infinite moral ambivalence – voices of strangers in an indigenous society. To make university education deliberately put out of the reach of others is a serious violation.
The UTG/GPU minority interest cannot try to stamp an ugly image on us that we’ll have to fight with for so long. And is for this reason they will need a Memorandum of Cooperation instead. What they called the Memorandum of Understanding is in fact self-conflicting and not understandable at all.

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