#Article (Archive)

Higher Education Ministry retreat reviews challenges, others

Dec 30, 2010, 11:38 AM | Article By: Sainey MK Marenah

Officials of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology and stakeholders in education will today wrap up a three-day retreat organised to review the current status, challenges and the way forward to developing a roadmap for the formulation of policies for the sector.

The retreat, held at the Baobab Holiday Resort, brought together heads of higher institutions of learning in the Gambia, veteran educationists and stakeholders in the education sector.

In declaring the retreat open, the Permanent Secretary, ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Baboucar Bouye, said the forum seeks to map out a strong education policy for the betterment of the education sector.

“I am looking forward to see that, at the end of the retreat, justice will be done, and I will implore you to work hard and carve well-balanced policies that will suit the needs,” Bouye added.

According to PS Bouye, higher education is the driving force of a country’s human resources development, noting that the policies have to be properly planned and designed.

The Permanent Secretary, ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Dr Pap Sey, also underscored the significance of the retreat.

“It will avail participants the opportunity to review the current status of tertiary and higher education in the country, with a view to developing a roadmap for formulation of the much needed policies of higher education, research science and technology,” he said.

According to Dr Sey, it is prudent to formulate new policies to capture emerging issues and concerns that are specific to tertiary and higher education in the Gambia.

Also speaking at the opening ceremony was Dr Mariama Sarr-Ceesay, an education consultant, who gave a run-down of the education system in the country, noting that the contribution of higher education in the emancipation of any country cannot be overestimated.

She told the gathering that there are still challenges confronting higher education in the country, which she outlined as relating to accessibility, equity and quality.

The Vice Chancellor University of the Gambia, Professor Muhammed Kah, described the timing of the retreat as long overdue.

Professor Kah described higher education as an important component of education, as it provides the human resource base of the country.

“Our aim is to build the country’s human resource in the Gambia guided by the higher education policy,” he continued.

“It is the wisdom of the Gambia government to integrate all tertiary institutions within the University of the Gambia,” Professor Kah, who also served as a resource person at the retreat, added.

Education is not only about certificates, but professionalism, he says.