As many as 50 more Gambians have won themselves scholarships in the 2010 Taiwan Scholarships Programme.
The scholarships were offered by different Taiwan government institutions. Five winners benefited from the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs scholarship, eight offered by the MOFA Mandarin, thirteen from the ICDF Masters/Ph.D programme, one winner for the MOE Mandarin Scholarship from the Ministry of Education, four winners from Fine Arts Special Class for masters degree, eleven winners from Biomedical Special Class, six winners from Taipei Medical School Master's Scholarship and two winners from individual faculties.
As a tradition, the Embassy of the Republic of China on Taiwan, yesterday 24th August 2010, held an orientation programme for the winners at a ceremony held at the Embassy grounds in Bakau.
Speaking at the occasion, on behalf of the ambassador, the Charge d'Affaires, Tom Lee, congratulated the winners for winning the scholarships.
He said that the forum is an opportunity for the beneficiaries to learn more about Taiwan, as well as the scholarship programmes they received. He noted that education is a very important tool to the development of a nation, adding that based on the cultural relationship between the two countries, they will work hard to share their experience with their Gambian brothers and sisters.
According to him, there are 135 Gambian students studying in Taiwan presently, prior to these scholarship awards. He also revealed that The Gambia has the largest African number of students in Taiwan, emphasising that the Taiwanese are also friendly like the Gambians. He finally wished the awardees the best of luck in their endeavours.
In his remarks, the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Higher Education, Research and Technology, Madi Jatta, advised the participants to see themselves as good ambassadors of the country while in Taipei, and to emulate the good example of other Gambians abroad. He also urged them to respect the culture of their host country since cultures differs from one country to another.
DPS Jatta used the opportunity to thank the Taiwanese government through the embassy for not only being very supportive to the education sector, but also in the areas of agriculture and the energy sector.
This recent development is a thorough manifestation that Taiwan and The Gambia are indeed true friends.
"As students, you must build a degree of friendship and try to acquire knowledge," he asserted. He also wished them the best, and hoped to see them back in The Gambia to offer their services.
Alieu Njie, DPS Office of the President expressed similar sentiments. He said that the admission has been very competitive, and then urged the beneficiaries to make the best use of the opportunity. He also advised the participants to be peaceful and law-abiding in their next home.
He finally thanked the government of Taiwan on behalf of the government of The Gambia for helping to build the human resource base of the country.One Lamin Ceesay delivered the vote of thanks on behalf of the beneficiaries of the 2010 Taiwan Scholarship Awards