By Aji Fatou Faal
The University of the Gambia Faculty and Staff Association (UTGFSA) has been recently launched at the QCity centre in Bijilo.
The creation of the association, which also coincides with the first-ever UTG Staff Retreat, was launched by the minister of Higher Education, Research Science and Technology.
Speaking at the event, Minister Alieu Badara Joof lauded the association and said that as a custodian of knowledge, the university should continue researching and innovating ideas that will make a difference in the lives of people of the country.
“The university is the engine of growth in knowledge for education, growth in knowledge for health, growth in knowledge for agriculture and growth in knowledge for energy, respectively. The Gambia and the UTG are microcosms of what is prevailing in Africa.”
He challenged the UTGFSA to be responsive and perceptive to the development of this country by generating the requisite appropriate knowledge that would administer effective and efficient development and urged them to move towards what he called “greater governance, to go for quality and excellence in education.”
Mathew Ndure, the interim chairman of the Governing Council of the UTG, congratulated the staff for this “bold move”.
Dr. Ismaila Ceesay, the president of the UTGFSA, gave a brief testimony of what they did for the UTG and for the country.
Mr Ceesay told the gathering no country can develop if knowledge doesn’t form the nucleus of their development agenda, highlighting the significance of the launching of the staff faculty.
He said: “To the UTG Administration, we thank the vice Chancellor and his team for all the support they rendered to the UTG Staff. UTGFSA should not be seen as enemies to the administration, we are partners and we all have one aim and to make UTG the best.”
The out-going President of the UTGSU Alpha Lowe, also reiterated the significance of the staff association.
“The Staff of the UTG are the best staff in the whole world and I have my reasons. Reasons being that with the little motivation around, with the dilapidated facilities around, with all the challenges they face as staff they are still committed to duties in trying to uplift our nation The Gambia.”
The UTG Staff and Faculty Association was formed in September, 2016 and started operations in October of the same year. It serves as an umbrella body concerned with safeguarding and promoting UTG staff welfare, social interactions and general wellbeing both within the campus and beyond.