By Alagie Manneh
The decision by the National Accreditation & Quality Assurance Authority to close five tertiary institutions for their alleged failure to regularize their status continues to brew controversy.
One of the affected institutions is Jollof Tutors whose CEO Mamadi Kurang said recently that he will not obey the “illegal closure order that works against the dreams of poor young Gambians.”
Kurang labeled NAQAA’s decision as “suspicious bureaucratic dictatorship because it is only a dictatorship that tries to control what it does not understand.”
The CEO tensely said: “Like many social entrepreneurs, we are incensed, beaten and broken by years of unending institutional decrees, bureaucratic and executive orders that give little consideration to the needs of young Gambians struggling to make a living. Our position is clear, the bullying must stop and arbitrary, extra judicial executive orders shall not be obeyed or considered in this new dispensation.”
Responding to this remark, Dr Gibril Jaw, NAQAA CEO told The Standard yesterday that his office is not out on a witch-hunt.
“One of our acts states that we may recommend to the minister for higher education the closure of an institution where the authority considers that – the location and operations of an institution are detrimental to the physical and mental welfare of the students who attend it.”
He also said they found Jollof to be operating below the “minimum standard acceptable to the authority and the continued existence of the institution is against the public interest.”
Dr Jaw said if Jollof fails to put its house in order, they must not shift the blame on NAQAA for “merely” doing its job.
“Their license as a training institution has expired since December 2014 and they failed to meet requirements in renewing it,” Dr Jaw said.
According to CEO Jaw, NAQAA’s mission is to support institutions like Jollof, but not to shut them down, especially when they deserve to be given license to operate.
“I want to give you the assurance that we are completely impartial. We don’t give favor to anybody, we treat them equally,” Dr Jaw said.