Recently, social media has been full of write-ups praising the standard of the new university campus in Faraba. The images of the campus beamed on the Internet indeed show how magnificent that campus is. The Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology deserves commendation for a job well done. A conducive environment is a very important aspect that promotes teaching and learning, in a university more so.
Although there were issues when some students complained of the distance and some other logistics, it has however now been agreed that teaching and learning can begin there in earnest. It is hoped that the excellent structures and the facilities will engender great improvement in the teaching and learning which will in turn contribute to the development of the country.
The important thing to talk about now is its maintenance and keeping it in its current situation. The management of the University of The Gambia, the lecturers, students and indeed the general public who may frequent the campus should make sure that the cleanliness and sanitary conditions of the magnificent environment is maintained as it is.
It is a well-established fact that in Africa, The Gambia in particular, maintenance is always a challenge. This is a problem of mindset and practical efforts must be made to ensure that there is a change so that the public infrastructure will be maintained in their purist forms and conditions.
The most problematic areas are the sanitary aspects of the environment. When people – either students or the public – use any of the facilities, they must make sure that they maintain the facilities properly so that it will last long. A lot of efforts have gone into the putting up of those buildings and facilities and it will not augur well if within a short time they are destroyed.
The furniture in that place seems to be excellent and of the highest standard. This is totally different from those times when students used to struggle for chairs and desks here and there. Now that they have all those facilities in place, they must all make sure that they are kept well and maintained properly.
The stakeholders – lecturers, students, and the public – should all take ownership of this campus so that each one will take care of these properties as if they were their own. This is the right attitude and mindset that is needed for the proper maintenance of the campus.