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Friday, September 25, 2020

IOU boss lauds progress of IEC program

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In an exclusive interview with The Standard, he said:

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 “Basically the IOU has been in official existence in The Gambia for about a year now. During the course of this period, we have been promoting online courses namely the bachelor’s in Islamic Studies, diploma in Islamic Studies, bachelors in psychology, bachelors in education, bachelors in Islamic Economics and Banking. Recently, we have been offering Information Technology classes, an intensive Arabic course and the main topic now is the Intensive English Course. We introduced this course to remedy the problem within the Madrassa setup where students upon graduation from grade 12, would have to go back to grade 7 or 10 of a conventional school in order to get sufficient English. The Gambia is an English speaking country and to obtain certain positions or jobs, you need some good level of English. Looking at the problem as a whole, we thought rather than students studying three or five years, why don’t they do it in a year. All the other years can then be turned into something more fruitful. That is how this one year program came about and the first batch of the pilot program which we are doing in partnership with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education and Amana is almost nearing graduation.

“We have brought everybody who has a part in the process to a seminar namely the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Amana, IOU and other Madrassas in the country. This is to ensure that they can have a say on how they have observed the program in their respective schools. It also avails them the opportunity to give their input as to how we can all better improve the program and make it a success story. We are trying to save the time of the students because initially they would have to study all the way to grade 12 and then drop back to grade 7 or grade 10 of conventional schools. The challenge we are facing now is space which we have been getting with the support of the Madrassas. But due to the large demand from the students, we are struggling to contain them all. Now that more and more people are becoming aware of the program ,we hope that with the cooperation of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education and Amana, we will have more spaces available to effectively run this program.” 

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