his known support to education once again, National Assembly Member (NAM) for
Banjul North Hon. Ousman Sillah recently unveiled an annual scholarship package
for academically deserving students in his constituency.
“In a bid to contribute to the improvement of academic performance in our schools which is a concern to both parents and education authorities, I am establishing a Scholarship Fund to support the education of the most outstanding and or needy students in senior secondary schools and who are residents of the Banjul North constituency,” Hon. Sillah said.
The Banjul North legislator underscored the importance of educating the young people as a prerequisite for the preparation of their future and that of society as this enables the student to acquire the relevant knowledge, skills and training to become productive, dependable and responsible member of society.
This facility, called the Banjul North National Assembly Member’s Scholarship Fund is meant to be providing support to deserving and or needy students in grades 10 and 11 of senior secondary schools who are residents of Banjul North constituency. It will commence this September with four students comprising two males and two females to ensure gender balance.
He said the objectives are to provide financial support to pay for the tuition and book fees of deserving and or needy students residing in Banjul North Constituency who are in grades ten and eleven in senior secondary school, to encourage students to improve on their academic performance in order to benefit from this support to be able to continue with their education, to improve examination results of students in the constituency and to assist the parents of the beneficiaries in the education of their children.
Hon. Sillah said in addition to discharging his statutory legislative, oversight and representative responsibilities as an elected NAM, these are some of the independent initiatives which he can undertake to directly and positively impact the lives and livelihoods of the electorate. He added, “My desire, conviction and commitment have always been to be of service to the people of the Gambia, in particular, and humanity, at large, and whether or not I am an elected representative.”
This scholarship fund, Hon. Sillah stressed, will be managed in a transparent, independent and impartial manner to ensure that only deserving students benefit from it.
“As the initiator of this Banjul North National Assembly Member’s Scholarship Fund, my role is only limited to providing and facilitating the funds and process. I will not be responsible for the selection of beneficiaries as this is a merit based facility which is determined by the academic performance of the students and not on any partisan or other parochial considerations,” said Hon. Sillah.
In this regard, a seven person scholarship board was also established to be headed by Father Bruno Toupan, the Principal of Saint Augustine’s Senior Secondary School (SASSS), and with its membership comprising teachers in senior secondary and primary schools, retired educationalist, parents and youth.
The Banjul North NAM noted that this offer starting with four students is just the beginning, adding that the number may increase if the available resources permit.
Hon. Sillah also announced another package to boost the educational performance of children in his constituency. He said henceforth he will be offering prizes to pupils from grades 1 to 6 in lower basic schools that come out with first, second and third in their exam.
Adama Jimba Jobe, Deputy Permanent Secretary Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education pledged his ministry’s support to this initiative, which is complementing their work in supporting the education of children.
He described the establishment of this scholarship fund as a laudable initiative that is worthy of emulation. “I am urging the people of Banjul North to take advantage of this opportunity and to give full support to this initiative,” he said.
Other speakers included Alh. Alieu Bah, a community elder, Amadou Leigh, a board member, and Aji Ngouye Njie, a community elder.