executive officer of National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority
(NAQAA) has strongly denied reports that his institution had unlawfully
rejected Senegambia College over operational license, describing the allegation
as ‘maliciously’ and ‘unfounded.’
Dr. Gibril Jaw, who was speaking at a press conference at NAQAA office on Tuesday, maintained that they are responsible for ensuring quality and setting national training and educational standards as well as providing accreditation and if necessary, revocation of license if people and institutions fall below the national minimum standards.
He said the press conference was meant to set the record straight about the allegation made against NAQAA over the Senegambia College license saga by an online Gambian news portal, Freedom Online Newspaper.
“We felt that it is of paramount significance to call a press conference with a view to making clarification on Senegambia College saga. People have read the article published by certain media outlets. Therefore, it is paramount for them to know the other side of the story too,” he told the journalists.
He describes NAQAA as a meritocratic institution that does know anybody, saying standards are not adjustable to suit the need of friends and relatives.
“As far as you are dealing with educational training, you have to abide by the national standards. When we develop national standards, all stakeholders are represented. Therefore, once those standards are validated and approved then we become their custodian and make sure that training institutions adhere to those standards,” he emphasized.
On the issue of Senegambia College, he said it came through one Tony Johnson, adding that the institution was register by two young Gambians and it was denied license on different reasons contrary to what has been reported. He explained that Tony Johnson was not trusted for different reasons.
Dr. Jaw said as per quality assurance requirements, there must be financial sustainability, saying he who can collect fees could at least keep one year salaries in his account and a guarantee. “We did not know this guy with any landed property in The Gambia. Should we allow him to run the institution and put the students in critical situations? A mistake was made and NAQAA is not prepared to allow it to grow.”
He told journalists that so many people have been used to influence NAQAA in different ways, but maintained that they stood by their principles because their standards are not negotiable and their integrity is not for sale.
“We are serving the nation and we want to make sure that quality prevails in all training institutions. Financial sustainability with the interest of the learners should be the first.” he added.