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49 Gambian Students Set for Taiwan

Aug 21, 2008, 6:37 AM | Article By: By Nfamara Jawneh

A group of 49 Gambian students are set to leave the shores of the country for the Republic of China on Taiwan to pursue various degree courses through the 2008 Taiwan Scholarship.

In furtherance of this, the students were on Tuesday hosted to an orientation programme held at the Gambia National Petroleum Company (GNPC) office's in Kotu.

In his welcoming remarks, the Secretary of State for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Honourable Crispin Grey-Johnson, described Taiwan as The Gambia's biggest partner in President Jammeh's efforts to make education top priority.

According to him, the day is another milestone in the area of cooperation between The Gambia and Taiwan. "Education is a top most priority of the government of President Jammeh, who has been personally sponsoring Gambians to pursue their education. Taiwan has been the biggest partner of The Gambia in this process." This, he said, is manifested by the number of students Taiwan is offering scholarship. He urged the students to maintain the records registered by previous Gambian students in Taiwan and to even improve on them.

For his part, Lamin Bojang, the Secretary of State for Works, Construction and Infrastructure, urged the students to learn and copy from the Taiwanese people their success story. "You are the next generation. You have a very big responsibility," he stated. He reminded the students that they have a purpose and mission in going to Taiwan, urging them to make good use of this opportunity. He also reminded the scholarship beneficiaries that they have been chosen out of thousands, hence the weight of expectation from them. He advised them to work as a team while in Taiwan.

He also thanked the government and people of Taiwan for what he regarded as their immense contribution to the socio-economic development of The Gambia, describing them as true friends of The Gambia.

Addressing the students, Ambassador Richard Shih congratulated the students while describing the day as a moment of joy for the students.

The Taiwanese diplomat revealed that the students would be pursuing their bachelors, masters and PhD, noting that the batch constitutes the highest number of scholarships so far awarded to The Gambia by his country, which he said is a manifestation of his government's readiness to support The Gambia's education efforts. "It is the intention of the Republic of China on Taiwan to share our experience with our best friends of The Gambia," he posited.

He urged the students to become good ambassadors of The Gambia in Taiwan.

Other speakers included Mr. Momodou Badgie, Director GNPC.

At the end of the programme, a video clip was displayed for the students, introducing them to the country that would be their home for the next four years.