Attended by eminent persons from all walks of life, the ceremony marked a significant milestone for the graduating students who have completed one phase of life and moving into another.
Dr Bilal Philips, chancellor of the Islamic Online University told the graduands: “It is a great pleasure for me today to be here among you. Since the start of this programme, I have been supporting it but not just assistance because I did spent good eight months here from the beginning of the programme. I stayed with the programme so that it got off successfully and Allah made it possible with support from the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Amana and heads of Madrassas. We did personal sacrifices to make a change in the situation here in The Gambia where this knowledge of English is so critical for the future of the country. I would also like to thank all the staff of the IOU and people who did what was necessary to see out this course successfully. Part of our next major initiative is to increase the number of teachers on a level which would not be possible without the Islamic Online University. We need some external help and that is what IOU is trying to do.”
Ousainou Allen, the country representative of the Islamic Online University, congratulated the graduates for the successful completion of the programme.
“The IEC was just an idea in about a year and six months ago. It came about when Dr Bilal Phillips visited The Gambia. During his visit, he went to the different Madrassas with the aim of promoting the Islamic Online University. IOU offers courses in Islamic Studies, Psychology, Islamic Banking and Finance, and Education. We have students who have gone through this year’s studies. I would like to thank our big partners in this programme most notably, the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, who have been very supportive in terms of financing, giving us a licence and recognition. We would also like to thank Amana who are responsible for Madrassas in The Gambia because they gave us access to these Madrassas,” he said.
Muhammed Badjan, a representative of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education in his own submission, said the imperatives of re-assessing national goals in the education sector cannot be over-emphasised.
“I want to pay homage to the Chancellor of the Islamic Online University because for me, this is an opportunity given the lofty objectives. The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education will provide all the necessary support for this programme and whatever is associated with IOU. This is about educating young Gambians and giving them the opportunity of not only becoming fluent in English Language but also contributing to national development. The programme will give the students a huge advantage over those coming out of conventional schools and as far as the ministry is concerned, we are going to expand the programme across the country.”
Other speakers include Essa Darboe, secretary general of Amana, GM Faal of IOU and the valedictorian of the graduating students ,Mamadou Alpha Bah. The event was graced by officials, both public and private institutions, family members and students.]]>