By Fatou Saho
The Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Prof. Pierre Gomez, has on Friday made emphasis that the education system must be revolutionized to end slavery in the country.
The minister was speaking at the opening of the Ndemban skills centre in Foni and handing over of equipment donated by TIKA.
He said tertiary and higher education is the backbone of any sustainable development, emphasising the need for investment in the future to liberate The Gambia.
“A bell is ringing to break the chains of slavery and Ndemban will take the lead to free this country,” he said.
He also called on students to make good use of what they have been opportuned.
The new skills training centre has attracted a full scholarship for students except for their accommodation.
The minister on that note commended the government for its efforts in education and extended gratitude to the Turkiye International Development Agency (Tika) for donating equipment to promote technical and vocational training in The Gambia.
However, Minister Gomez stressed that, after 58 years of independence, Gambia still finds it difficult to produce well-trained citizenry.
“We must use education to liberate ourselves and our country. We have a structural problem; we take loans which everyone has to pay because it’s the tax payers’ money. We give the contracts to non-Gambians and later the money goes out. We need to have a system of containment where the money will stay in the country. This is how development comes. We cannot have development when every time we get loans the money goes out. On paper, we have given government millions but in reality, the money is not around. The youths are not feeling it. The only time they feel it is when you engage them and that is why we came up with TVET hands on education giving them skills”.
The minister quoted a song in the time of late President Jawara that, ‘Ligaye Jotna’ is a call to the citizens to build their nation.
“For labourers to build a new Gambia, an independent Gambia anchored on sustainable development principles but also Gambia ‘morm na bopam’ so that you will not go out and beg in style,” he highlighted.
He mentioned that students come from school system, universities and TVET to be begging. “Why do we go to school?” he asked.