May 8, 2008, 6:02 AM
The seminar, which brought participants from Nigeria, Guinea Bissau, Senegal and The Gambia, was hosted by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education.
The objectives of the study are to study the extent at which the curriculum for Upper Basic school leavers in their final year at school is perceived to be relevant to social demand for their employability, and also to introduce into the Upper Basic School leavers curriculum a program of study which aims to meet this social demand and which will be instrumental in the four respective countries.
In his official opening remarks on behalf of the minister of Basic and Secondary Education, the deputy permanent secretary, Momodou Sanneh, said the study is expected to enhance a meaningful, relevant and quality curriculum in the countries’ Upper Basic Schools that may create more employment opportunities for the youth in the respective countries.
He noted that his ministry has had a long working relationship with ERNWACA Gambia Chapter and had fruitful collaboration in research and policy formulation over the last few years.
According to DPS Sanneh, ERNWACA is now more relevant than ever before, given that the issues around low learning outcomes in the education system can be better investigated so that the right policies and programmes will be implemented with absolute external efficiency of the education system.
The project, he added, will in no small measure accelerate the achievement of the objectives set by African governments in Ouagadougou.
He noted that in The Gambia, the government recently launched a blueprint entitled Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE) with the hope of nurturing economic growth underpinned by acceptable levels of external efficiency in the education system.
Sanneh further expressed hope that the transnational project will serve as a convergence of ideas that will benefit all participating countries through improved learning outcomes in the education system.
For her part, chairperson of ERNWACA Gambia Board of Trustees, Awa Auber-Jow, said it is anticipated that the project will last for two years, and it is being funded by the Swiss Development Co-operation to the tune of two hundred and eighty-nine thousand, nine hundred and seven dollars (US$289,907).
Also speaking at the seminar, ERNWACA regional executive secretary, Ida Jallow-Sallah, said the workshop took place when ERNWACA was about to commemorate its silver jubilee.
She said twenty-five years of existence has provided both prospect and challenges for growth and development.
The workshop, she added, aims to apprehend the prospects and challenges confronting education in sub-Saharan Africa, which is now confronted with many crises that undermine the very fabric of the educational system of these countries.