The Gambia College is one of the oldest institutions which was established in 1952 as a teacher’s college but later grew after the introduction of other programs to four schools; Nursing and Midwifery, Public and Environmental Health, Agriculture and Education.
I am informing the President of the Republic of The Gambia that the college, which aims to create a human resource base necessary for the youths to participate as fully as possible in the development processes of the country, lost its glory at the time when the idea of privatizing it became a reality.
The Gambia College is an institution that trains poor farmers’ sons and daughters in various disciplines.
Largest number of students affected by such a privatization are from poor family backgrounds that struggle to pay tuition fees.
I will also point finger to some of members of the government, most of whom were trained at Gambia College, for failing the Gambians by not considering the plights of the college at executive level.
College education should be free in The Gambia because it’s the only school for the poor. Some of the students who did not settle their tuition fees were denied entry to sit to their exam which is very unfair because if you look at the college administration, ninety percent of them had an opportunity to enjoy free education at the Gambia College and by looking at their family background at that time, most of them would not have afforded college if they were to pay. So, I challenge them to be honest to the students and take it easy with them.
I want every Gambian to know that the Gambia College, which was full of life with free education coupled with monthly stipend, is now a college of worrying students with the issue of tuition.
Finally, I challenge the three organs of the government to come with an immediate solution for the College to become a tuition-free school because majority of students will not be able to afford the cost of continuing their education which will deprive them of the right to education.
Modou Musa Cham
Faculty of Education, UTG