Sep 10, 2015, 10:05 AM
The Late Francis DeGaulle Njie Foundation on 10 June 2011 held its second motivational lecture on the theme "The Importance of University Education - Studying at the University of The Gambia," at the Father Farrell Memorial Hall, as part of activities marking its fifth anniversary.
The event aimed at promoting the concept of excellence in the development of young people, targeting audience from senior secondary schools in the Greater Banjul Area.
Speaking ahead of the lecture, Julius Freeman, vice-chairperson of the foundation, gave an overview of the foundation, saying it is a charitable organisation initially set up by the family members of the late DeGaulle Njie, in commemoration of the values of excellence and dedication to service the late DeGaulle stood for throughout his "short but very dedicated life".
"Over the years, the foundation has awarded scholarships to students in Gambia High School, St. Augustine's High School as well as St. Joseph's School," said the vice chairman.
Mr Freeman told the gathering that the foundation, in collaboration with the RVTH, also trained 35 midwives some time ago. He indicated that the foundation, which is 'helping young minds to achieve excellence', has also donated some learning materials to the University of The Gambia.
According to him, the foundation strives among other things to include schools outside the Greater Banjul Area in the scholarship programme, to support the RVTH, community awareness of cancer prevention and protection as well as to discourage drug abuse among the youth in the country.
Momodou Lamin Tarro, acting registrar at the University of The Gambia (UTG), in his motivational lecture on the "importance of higher education" told young people "there is nothing wrong" in nurturing high aspirations for themselves and for the nation save how they intend to realise that noble goal.
"We must not forget the role higher education plays in this regard," he noted.
However he said higher education is also faced with great challenges relating to finances, improving staff development, employability of graduates, enhancement of preservation of quality in teaching, among others.
Higher education, he said, is now a must have to develop one’s potential to embrace opportunities and to become key actors in the socio-economic development of a country, adding that it also prepares the human resources need of the national economy.
"It has been said that there is a relation with higher education and economic development," he indicated.
According to Mr Tarro, the World Bank report for 2000 concluded that higher education is crucial to development.
"With acquisition of quality higher education one is assured of a better life with globalization taking place as the job market has becomed even more complex," he told the young people.
University education will not only allow one to choose a career or implement a career change but also enhance a career change, Mr Tarro said, revealing that the UTG provides opportunities for students as well as the right atmosphere for students to meet and interact with people from different socio-economic and financial backgrounds.
Mr Tarro outlined the procedure of admission of the UTG and urged students to be dedicated, committed and be focused, to attain their aspirations.
Momodou Sabally, director of budget at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs (an author), and Ismaila Ceesay, lecturer at the UTG, all spoke on the theme and shared some knowledgeable advice and experiences with the students.
A question-and-answer session was also entertained before Vivat Thomas Njie, chairperson of the foundation, delivered the closing remarks on the occasion.