By Oumie Mendy
The Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoHERST) on Tuesday validated the first National Research Policy of The Gambia at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center.
The policy is meant to establish efficient research legislative instrument and research management structures for effective and successful educational outcomes.
Speaking at the ceremony on behalf of the Minister of Higher Education Research, Science and Technology, the Permanent Secretary Mr Mod AK Secka, outlined that the world today is experiencing structural global transformation and most of it is attributed to the fast pace of scientific discovery, development and innovation that has occurred in recent decades. “Why are sub-Saharan African countries lacking behind? We must work towards making research information policy, public dialogue and mutual engagements on all the issues that are of relevance to The Gambia should be our focus” he said, calling for partnership and collaboration in pushing research interest and seeing that the policy caters for all research matters.
He added that The Gambia aspires to become country of excellence that produces well-educated and skilled citizens with requisite competencies to lead fulfilled lives. “The ministry’s strategic plan and the availability of the TVET policy document demonstrated the will of the government to implement policy that will place the country on the path of inclusive and sustainable growth, creat jobs and improve service delivery.”
He said researchers must be ginger, and be interested in the pedagogy of distraction, rethink in the effort to investigate the practical issues of daily lives. “If you look at the gap that existed between the have and have not, you are provoke to look for urgent answers. Continuous researching and engaging in the tertiary and higher education institutions will certainly close the gap. We will not surrender the ‘normality that say our people are born poor and must die in poverty. This can change if we engage in research and listen to ‘plus rate’ research outcomes.”
The director of Research, James Gomez highlighted on the necessary procedures and researches conducted, and the lack of research capacity leading to the need of the country for a proper national research regulatory framework, monitoring and conduction. The establishment of the MoHERST/MoBSE education sector policy is the result of the state to strengthen state planning policies implementation through the framework of National Development plan (NDP).
The National Research Policy of The Gambia outlines a ten-year (2022-2031) programme on how research management and administration can be systemized and consequently harnessed in the effort to accelerate the realisation of the strategic objectives of successive national development blue-prints. Drawing impetus from such statutory instruments as the NDP (2018-2021), the 2030 agenda, and AU’s 2063 agenda, the National Research Policy (NRP) demonstrates recognition for the national goals of developing and integrating research in the mainstream of national development priorities.