Sidat Yaffa, associate professor of agronomy, has said that the Ministry of
Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MOHERST) has no right to
micromanage the University of The Gambia (UTG).
During a press conference yesterday, Dr Yaffa, who is also the acting director of UTG/WASCAL MAP on climate change and education at the UTG Farafenni campus, said the major objective of the ministry is to regulate the policies that are related to the university, “but not to micromanage the affairs of the university”.
“MOHERST is just a representative on the governing council [of the university] Before the ministry called for the dissolution of the senior management team (SMT), a negotiation should have been made between the staff association and the SMT.”
Dr Yaffa outlined three “best solutions” that MOHERST should have done instead of the dissolution of the SMT: they (the ministry) should have suspended the use of the purchased vehicles; the SMT should allocate half a million to each school within the university to take care of their immediate needs, and to reconstitute the SMT.
“But dissolving SMT was unfair and unjust; it is not acceptable in international negotiation. The action was unprofessional. There are conditions and regulations governing the university. It is the responsibility of the governing council and the acting vice chancellor to take such action, not the ministry.”
As a bona fide member of the UTGFSA, he continued, the sit-down strike was uncalled for and wrong because it has delayed the progress of the students; it was an old mentality of strike.
According to Dr Yaffa, Ministry of Higher Education currently owed the UTG more than D8 million in terms of scholarships.
“Let them settle that first, and that would take care of so many challenges the UTG is facing right now,” he said.
As the acting director of UTG/WASCAL MAP on climate change and education at the UTG Farafenni campus, Dr Yaffa said the Farafenni campus needs much attention.
The Farafenni campus offers master’s degree in climate change and related fields.