The curriculum of the Gambia Press Union School of Journalism validated over the weekend is in line with expectations, Amadou O. Jallow of the National Accreditations and Quality Assurance Authority (NAQAA) said on Sunday.
“It is flexible with an open learning method allowing training to be accessible to a wide range of candidates,” the Curriculum Development Officer said at the end of a three-day retreat to validate the curriculum.
He said the school’s curriculum ascribes to lifelong learning opportunities - responding to individual learner needs and the possibilities of self-employment.
“It establishes professional standards covering knowledge, understanding and competence – which professionals of the future will require to meet the needs of their organisations,” Mr. Jallow said.
He said vocational education includes practical training for development of skills required by a chosen profession together with the related underpinning theory. These two components may vary but emphasis is on providing applied theory.
According to Jallow, this is where the GPU school’s training and the University of The Gambia School of Journalism complement each other.
The Gambia Press Union said it is looking forward to partnering with the university to ease entry to the School of Journalism and Digital Media for its graduates.
And Mr. Jallow said the two institutions (GPU School and UTG) together form a “very formidable curriculum” such that at the end of the day with the skills acquired at the GPU and with the applied theory also acquired at the university one will leave the university with a well-earned certificate or degree.
Saikou Jammeh, secretary general of GPU, agreed. He said NAQAA’s view that the curriculum is in line with expectations is quite reassuring. He also said that the changes or suggestions that were made for adjustments during the retreat were also very important.
He said the next step is to get students attracted to the school, to produce them with very good performances and also to build strong, fruitful partnerships with other institutions within and outside the country.
Help democratization process
At the end of the validation, Sang Mendy, coordinator of the GPU School of Journalism, said they now have “a comprehensive document to produce competent, responsible, up-to-date, innovative and proactive journalists to help in the democratization process of The Gambia.”
He said when the media is empowered, it would play a critical role in the socioeconomic development of the country – commending UNESCO, the implementing agency, for the support.
Maimuna Sidibeh, a senior programme officer at the Gambia National Commission for UNESCO, said: “We have no doubt that the type of people (students) you produce from the school would be of quality.
“It is good that over the past few days, clarification has been made between the GPU and the UTG and we look forward for more dialogue between the two institutions so that it will enable the smooth transition of those who want to do the degree programme at the UTG.”