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National forestry school receives new curriculum to enhance forestry education

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By Fatou Saho

The National Forestry School in Kafuta, widely known as the Kafuta forestry school, has recently received a new curriculum geared towards enhancing forestry education in The Gambia and addressing its sustainable development needs.

The new curriculum was developed by the National Environment Agency (NEA), with support from the United Nations Environment Program and Global Environment Facility, as part of their six seascape/landscape project that is aimed at tackling biodiversity loss and other climate change challenges.

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Speaking at the handing over ceremony held in Bijilo, Dawda Badjie, the executive director at NEA, highlighted the significance of the need for a new curriculum at the national forestry school.

He explained: “What we are experiencing now is different from how it used to be, which means something is wrong with how we are managing our forest. The most fundamental aspect is what kind of education are we giving to our people for them to apply at field level. It is important to know,  whenever we educate people is for them to know the value of that thing, the value of the forest to our environment because it is not only important for humans but also for other creatures that depend on it.”

However, among the objectives of the curriculum, the project coordinator, Ousainou Touray, said it aims to produce graduates who are capable of meeting both current and future demands of the forestry sector in The Gambia.

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As the principal of the school, Lamin Njie hailed and expressed gratitude to institutions that funded and developed the curriculum which he said aligns with their vision. He equally noted their commitment to implementing it.

“This will require upgrading the school into a college of environment and natural resources which will necessitate upgrading the facilities and equipment to NAQAA-approved standard,” Mr. Njie emphasized.

Ebrima Colley, a representative from the Ministry of Environment Climate Change and Natural Resources, said the curriculums that were introduced in the school are overdue, because of which it has possibilities of not addressing Gambia’s current forest situation.

However, he mentioned that, “there is no better way we can improve our forest without the new curriculum.”

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