By Olimatou Coker
Stakeholders in education met last week to chart a way forward in the development of quality assurance in higher education in The Gambia.
The meeting was held under a Unesco–Shenzhen project on Quality Assurance and Recognition of Studies and Tools in Higher Education in Africa.
Dr Gibril Jaw, National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority CEO, called the project a “worthwhile undertaking” in the battle to realising goals of the higher education ministry to provide equitable access to high-quality and relevant tertiary and higher education that is sustainable and responsive to national and global needs.
“The project has therefore provided us with an opportunity to enhance quality education practices and procedures through the building of requisite expertise and personnel,” CEO Jaw noted.
The project was launched last year and is being funded by the Chinese government and Unesco. At least 10 African countries including The Gambia are beneficiaries of the project.
“The overall objective is to assist higher education systems to further develop their quality assurance mechanisms by putting in place the necessary quality assessment tools to facilitate furtherance of study programmes and qualifications, thus contributing to wider recognition of Gambian qualifications,” he explained.
CEO Jaw said the project will consolidate and strengthened existing quality assurance systems in The Gambia by “utilising the outcomes of the survey in the preparation of a fit-for-purpose internal quality assurance manual to guide the implementation of internal quality assurance processes in their respective institutions for effective delivery of their core mandates of teaching, research and community enhancement”.
Anthony Mendy from the Ministry of Higher Education, Research Science and Technology, reported that the coming of the Unesco-Shenzhen project on quality assurance and recognition of studies and tools in higher education in Africa is a worldwide undertaking in helping realise the goal of his ministry.
He said the project has provided them the opportunity to enhance quality education practices and procedures through the building of requisite expertise and personnel.
“In order to strengthen the quality infrastructure, there is need to conduct needs’ assessment survey to ascertain the status of quality assurance and gaps within the tertiary and higher education sector,” he stated.
Mendy thanked China and Unesco for the project
Ms Maimuna Sidibeh, principal programme officer of Unesco Natcom, The Gambia, also spoke on the importance of the project.