Minister Joof challenges students to embrace STEM

Monday, January 08, 2018

The minister of Higher Education, Research Science and Technology has reminded students that in a world increasingly driven by science and underpinned by engineering and digital economy, it is important to have a generation that is assimilated in a scientific and digital culture.

To this end, he challenged students to embrace Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM), as it is going to be the policy focus of his ministry from now on.

Badara Joof was speaking on Friday during the official launch of the National Robotics Competition at a ceremony held at his ministry in Bijilo.

He, however, made it clear that the industry is now based on science, mathematics and engineering.

“I would like to have a 65% policy turn-around of training students in the area of STEM and even geography. We will give preference to students who study sciences; the scholarships will be automatic in order to do that”, he stated.

Minister Joof noted that in order to get input from the basic and secondary schools, there is a programme under the World Bank that they will be sponsoring some schools in the Basic and Secondary sector by promoting subjects such as physics, chemistry, mathematics and geography.

“We will as well as build their science labs; trained their teachers and assured the students who do well at the level of the University. In other words we will have feeder centers of excellence at the basic and secondary levels that will feed both the University of The Gambia and The Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI)”.

GTTI, he went on, would be evolved into a technical university and will deal with hands on engineering and technology. “Whereas the University of The Gambia will design engineering and technology,” he said.

These, he believes, is what will make a turn-around in our development.

He continued: “Yes, it is good to predicate universities like the model of Cambridge, Oxford and Harvard and so on. But we would have to do this in stages and priorities stages.”

Author: Sheriff Janko
Source: Picture: Badara Joof