By Momodou Torp
National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority, (NAQAA) yesterday begun a three-day training for various staff of higher institutions of learning on internal quality assurance.
Organised at the NAQAA headquarters in Kanifing, the training is being sponsored by the Unesco, the government of The Gambia, and the Chinese government in collaboration with NAQAA.
Lamin Jarjou, a Unesco-Natcom representative, said: “Many institutions have been privatized. Within this context, there have been a growing concern about the value of quality higher education institutions and their programs.”
According to him, the government has since moved to control these HEIs and their programs through periodic assessments, and by means of such tools as accreditations, auditing and evaluation.
He then said if Gambians encourage and develop the use of IQA mechanisms, it will help the country develop a higher education system that would be the envy of all.
“It is necessary to identify innovative and constant effective solutions to [Internal Quality Assurance] IQA that can successfully function in a developing country’s context where human and financial resources are scarce and where quantitative data and evaluation results may not be easily generated,” he said.
He said the IQA has the potential to establish the necessary linkage between the academia and the labor market.
A deputy permanent sectary at the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Madi Jatta, said quality education has the potential to accelerate development, growth and improve creative thinking.
He said the ministry in collaboration with international partners, will continue to work towards giving new impetus to tertiary and higher education by strengthening quality assurance infrastructure and capabilities to increase output of the sector.
He hopes the workshop go on to lay a strong foundation for strengthening quality assurance in various institutions in order to achieve quality higher education.
“Quality in education is contingent to standardised curricula, qualified trainers, teaching and learning resources, well equipped labs among other crucial needs,” he noted.