26.2 C
City of Banjul
Wednesday, September 27, 2023

Relevant education


There is no doubt that education is the key to development in any nation. It is clear that there cannot be any form of development in a country if its citizens are not educated. This has been recognized around the world and that is why every government makes efforts to educate as many of its people as possible. The Gambia is no exception and that is why education is given a high priority in all aspects of the national discourse.

It is also well known that there is a need to have the right or relevant type of education as a way of promoting both individual and national growth. The type of education provided by a government and attained by citizens determines the progress of the nation. As time is dynamic, so is development and that is why a curriculum must constantly change to keep up with the needs of the time.

Since independence, the education curriculum in The Gambia has largely focused on the theoritical aspect. This is why there has always been a shortage of skills in the country. For this reason, most of the time when the need arises, we have had to depend on skilled workers from other countries like Senegal, Nigeria, Ghana and others. The time has come to end that dependence.

The Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology is now shifting its focus to what is referred to as STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). It has been realized that without a good number of the citizens gaining expertise in these areas the dependence on other countries for skilled labour cannot end.

Thankfully, with the pragmatism of the current Minister for higher education, Prof. Gomez, a shift is clearly observable. The Government of The Gambia plans to, with the help of development partners, build technical colleges in each of the regions in the country. In this way, the young people of the country can be given the required skills in order to foster development.

Last week, it was reported that the Honourable Minister extended a request of the Gambia government to Nigerian universities to grant more scholarships especially in the area of STEM. It is worthy to note that many Gambians benefitted, and continue to benefit, from the generous assistance of Nigeria to obtain quality higher education. Some of these people are now serving in key positions in the country.

As the reports indicate, the response of the Nigerians was positive and therefore it is expected that in the near future more Gambians will be given scholarships to study in universities in Nigeria. If many of these scholarships happen to be in the specified area of STEM, then the fruits will be seen in the not-too-distant future.

It is worthy to note that many other Gambians are studying in universities in Turkey, China and other parts of the world. This is the key to changing the narrative so that The Gambia can move forward and transform the country for the benefit of the future generations.

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