By Olimatou Coker
The National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority (NAQAA) has validated the competency framework for technical and vocational education and training within the tertiary institutions.
The competencies spelled out in this document were developed through the facilitation of NAQAA in collaboration with the Ministry of Higher Education Research, Science and Technology, the UNESCO national office in The Gambia, the International Open University, and funded by the UNESCO- KOICA project on youth empowerment in the country.
The goal of the framework is to serve as the foundation for the competencies required by teachers within the tertiary education system for quality and effective education and training .
Dr. Jibriel Jaw, chief executive officer of NAQAA, said they are the implementer of the KOICAA project and this is part of activity 4 which is meant to strengthen teacher education and training institutions in The Gambia.
“We have been offering TVET training for so long but majority of the trainers are not trained as trainers. They were trained as specialists in their own areas that give them knowledge and competence in their subject.”
He added when it comes to delivery, it requires teaching skills most of their trainers are not equipped but this is an opportunity to come up with competency framework that will spell out clearly the competencies and knowledge that all TVET trainers must possess.
He also said this is very important because the drafters of the document are derived from different parts of the society including NAQAA and MoHERST.
“The aim and objective is that we want uniformity since it is a national document and same skills regardless of different institutions. This particular curricular should be responsive to what is needed in the TVET,” CEO Jah explained
Anthony G. Mendy, director of tertiary and higher education MoHERST, said: “The significance of this project to the ministry is immense in terms of its scope and opportunity provided to the tertiary and higher education sector.”
He said the validation of the competency framework on TVET trainers marks another development within the tertiary and higher education sector.
He pointed out that the Gambia and the entire higher education sector are grateful to UNESCO for initiating this project and most especially the government of Korea for providing the funding through its development agency KOICA.
While thanking NAQAA for its coordination and technical support in implementing the project, he also urged the participants to take their time and scrutinize the document so as to come up with a formidable framework for The Gambia.