Jan 12, 2011, 9:44 AM
The Gambia has made steady progress in the education sector in the last six years, according to Rachel Jummai Ogbe, principal programme officer of the ECOWAS Education Commission.
She was speaking at the opening of a ten-day workshop for vocational trainers and education administrators at the Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI).
Mrs Ogbe said that according to UNESCO data, The Gambia has recorded an increase in access to education at all levels over the period 2006 – 2009, and is one of three countries in the ECOWAS region to have attained gender parity in education at the lower basic school level.
Mrs Ogbe also emphasized the progress that The Gambia has made in establishing a structure and framework for technical and vocational training, which has contributed to an increase in the number of people enrolling in higher education over the past six years.
She said the ECOWAS Commission was willing to continue to collaborate with the government in all areas of mutual interest, but called for the present momentum to be maintained so as to further promote inclusive education that will serve as a catalyst for achieving human resource development targets that can support economic growth, wealth creation and global competitiveness.
Also present at the GTTI workshop launch event was the Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Momodou Tangara, who said it is the government’s policy to ensure that sustainable post-basic vocational training systems are in place.
He said, “lifelong learning is crucial to the development of self-reliant individuals, communities and a free market economy.”
GTTI director-general Abdoulie MA Loum said the need to develop the human capital of The Gambia and the sub-region is a pre-requisite for socio-economic progress.
He welcomed the workshop, aimed at building the capacity of staff within tertiary institutions, which are to a large extent responsible for promoting training to address the middle level human resource requirements of the country.
The GTTI has recently launched Higher National Diploma (HND) programmes in mechanical engineering technology, electrical engineering technology and building construction technology.