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Gambia to have first Islamic University - Sheikh Sedia Ceesay

Jul 24, 2012, 1:00 PM | Article By: Nfamara Jawneh

Over the years, Gambians especially female students find it extremely difficult to pursue high Islamic education since there is no Islamic university in the country and conditions of Islamic universities abroad are hard to meet though not academic wise.

However, if everything goes well, this will be a thing of the past as the Gambia Islamic Union and OIC Saudi office is set to construct one in the country.

The development was disclosed to The Point by Sheikh Sedia Ceesay, principal of Tallinding Islamic Institute under the Gambia Islamic Union, in an interview with this paper at his office over the weekend.

In fact, according to him, the foundation stone of the first female university will be laid on Tuesday 24th July 2012 by President Yahya Jammeh at their annex campus in Tallinding.

“We have been soliciting this kind of support for many years but it’s just of recent when our OIC partners decided to provide the start-up funds,” he said.

Sidia Ceesay who also doubles as a State House Imam, said the laying of the foundation stone forms part of the 2012 July 22nd anniversary.

According to him, this is simply because they have realised that education, especially access to quality high education by girls, is a priority to President Jammeh.

This, he said is manifested with the establishment of  the President’s Empowerment of Girls Education Project (PEGEP) and many other educational support Gambian leaders is rending to Gambian girl child.

The faculty, he said, when completed will be the first of its kind in the sub-region.

“Gambian female students have long been yearning for this opportunity since most of them find it difficult to go abroad for further studies due to the restrictions of many Islamic universities in the Arab world. For example, they normally said when a girl is going over there she need to go with her husband or a close family member throughout her studies over there. So this has proven to be difficult for many reasons particularly financially for our girls,” he lamented.

He said the development is very important for the country as it would boost the government’s efforts at increasing girl enrolment in school and enable them acquire higher education in home soil without any hassle.

He called on the public, especially Muslim women, to come out in their large numbers to grace the historic occasion, which will start at 9.am on Tuesday.