Speaking Tuesday at the orientation ceremony at the Law Faulty, Professor Momodou Kah, described the new course “as one of the most important interventions of the UTG”.
He told the intakes, most of whom are practising journalists: “We wanted to make sure that the curriculum that you are about to engage yourselves will be compliant with the curriculums in the sub-region, but we will also meet our local needs and additionally we will make your academic training compliant. We wanted to address not only the requirements of the harmonisation within the sub-region, but to ensure that any aspect of the curriculum that does not exist in the sub-region but exists elsewhere is embedded in your curriculum.”
He said President Jammeh, the chancellor had earlier on realised that “as a country we cannot move forward without the requisite capacities and competencies in the very important skills that need to propel the economy. He, the president, further instructed that we need a trajectory in terms of who practices journalism, in terms of capacity and competences of those that practice journalism in this country. That can only happen when the university intervenes to ensure that the practitioners and those who want to pursue the profession related to journalism have the avenue to get the requisite skills and knowledge.
“This warranted the UTG to immediately develop and design a rigorous and respectable world class undergraduate programme in journalism that will ensure that those that come, work hard and go through the programme, will not only be certificated upon completion, but will have requisite skills that will change the ethic of journalism to a more dynamic modern system as expected of them. You have come to the university to be the generation of Gambian journalists who will be acquiring university education. We are hopeful that this programme will without doubt affect a lot in you in the profession. Be humble to learn best practices to get quality of the content, the discipline and rigor that this curriculum demands of you. We expect you to be not less than average; you have to be more than average.”
Prof Kah assured of quality learning and high quality curriculum for the journalism students, stressing that the chancellor do not want a situation where journalism would be a profession where anyone can just come in to practice.
The deputy vice chancellor, Dr Omar Jah, welcomed the new students and noted that their admission into the UTG was by no means an accident as they had gone through rigorous process of scrutiny.
“I am also proud because this is an indication of us making it happen in this country. It is our mission to start it, but it is your responsibility to complete it. “
Speaking earlier, Nana Grey-Johnson, the course coordinator said: “It is important that we are part of this history-making initiative. Finally, we are now opening up journalism in this country to the level of tertiary delivery. This curriculum you will be studying is the curriculum you will find in all the other universities in the Ecowas sub-region.”
Mr Jenung Manneh, UTG secretary, urged the first batch of the journalism and digital media students to make the UTG proud and study hard to make their dreams come true.
The UTG’s new programme in journalism is both academic and practical, “located (like the journalistic profession itself) at the intersection between the faithful and dogged discovery of the truth and transformation of society,” Dr Pierre Gomez, acting dean School of Arts and Sciences at the university told the new intake.
Mr Momodou Lamin Tarru, acting registrar of the university said: ‘“You are all here because you want to become the movers and shakers of the future. So therefore I urge you to make this happen by meeting new people, tapping into their resources and joining the UTG community for the benefits that will follow you later.”]]>