By Amadou M Jadama
The National Assembly select committee on education Monday began its tour on educational institutions in the country.
The committee first visited Gambia Technical Training Institute.
The idea of this select committee is to get first class information about educational institutions.
In his opening remarks Yahya Gassama, the National Assembly Member for Kiang East and Chairperson of the select committee, said: “Our visit here today is not witch-hunting; we came to engage you on issues pertaining to education especially technical education and also to know the challenges and forge the way forward.”
The areas they engaged with the school administration were general staff welfare, curriculum, learning materials, staffing and recruitment, student recruitment, sources of funding and others.
Jahou S Faal, director general of GTTI, explained that GTTI was instituted by an Act of parliament in 1980. “During that period there were only three departments; construction, engineering and commerce with an enrolment of about 300.”
According to GTTI boss they are now stretched to every part of the country.
“As we speak we have almost 2,200 students enrolled this 2017-2018 academic year. The staff of GTTI comprises academic and non academic. For the academic, we have full-time and part time and we have 125 academic staff.”
She further informed the NAMs that GTTI staff are well taken care of. She added: “There are incentives attached to the basic salary by all, including the payment of social security and we also giving 25 percent added to the academic staff allowance and this is paid monthly.
“We also have the medical care allowance which attracts one thousand dalasi monthly aross the board; whether you are an academic staff or non, from the director general to the cleaners.”
Turning on the professional staff development, she went on: “We have done very well towards that; we have this understanding with the UTG that, the staff of sister institutions whether GTTI or any other tertiary institution can have access studies at UTG.”
For his part Edward C Mansal, director of academics, said GTTI continues to receive subvention from the government through the Ministry of Higher Education Research Science and Technology.
“In addition funds are raised from tuition fees, construction and consultancies undertaken by some of the departments.”
Sedia Jatta, member for Wuli West and member of select committee, thanked the management of GTTI for the wonderful services rendered to the country.
The Honourable Jatta said GTTI needs funds in order equip the institution, promising that their concerns will be tabled before the House.
Other speakers included Bakary Njie, NAM for Bundungka Kunda Constituency, Saikouba Jarju NAM for Busumbala and other NAMs.
The delegates were later taken a conducted tour of the institution.