By Juldeh Njie
The University of The Gambia Students’ Union kicked-start a weeklong students’ convergence at Tendaba camp meant to create a common platform for students to share knowledge and expertise on pertinent national issues.
The event, themed ‘building climate change resilience: the role of students and community, also aims to promote national dialogue for the eradication of social vices, harmful practices, and ethnocentrism.
President UTGSU, Alpha MK Lowe said the issues that are going to be discussed affect everyone in the country, adding that the education system in Africa most especially in Gambia does not reflect the needs and aspirations of students.
He added: “Climate change is real and is a threat which is clearly conspicuous and has a direct impact in our lives. As a council, we are cognizant of the role of students in raising awareness and promoting better climate change policies in the country.
“We will not restrict ourselves to discussing the main theme, we’ll also be looking at agriculture and national development, where we have gone wrong, money laundering and terrorist financing among others.”
Abdoulie sey, assistant secretary general of the UTGSU said this year’s event is not only important but unique in the sense that for the first time, the students’ week is conducted in a different environment to discuss issues that are critical to the country.
He said different issues will be discussed key among which is the education system because the university is faced with so many problems, and they are determine to address them and send a report to the policy makers.
Foday Ceesay, a student said the event will change his life because so many important things will be discussed, it will enable him to know a variety of things.
Cherno Ebrima Jallow, deputy minister gender and health, said the event will be of great help in knowing the impact of climate change and how to mitigate it, adding that they will implement whatever is learnt.
Sulayman Jammeh, president of engineer and architecture, said this is the only gathering that gives students the opportunity to meet the different schools to socialise and share knowledge, and to engage the community on the harmful effects of FGM and early marriage.
“The convergence will also witness planting at least 40 coco plants to help mitigate climate change in the area”.
Meanwhile Omar Gaye, finance minister UTGSU rubbished claims that the weeklong convergence is funded by the government.
He said: “We did not receive any funds from the government with regard to the students’ week, the allegation is unfounded, and our funding is donor-base.”