The Gambia Hotel School would soon be transformed into a Regional Centre of Excellence, if the words of Nancy Njie, the Honourable Minister of Tourism and Culture, are anything to go by Madam Nancy Njie, who was speaking recently during the graduation ceremony of 115 graduates of the Gambia Hotel School, said that the government of the Gambia has a dream to transform the Hotel School into Tourism and Hospitality Institute, which will in the near future be a Regional Centre of Excellence for tourism and hospitality education.
Tourism and Culture Minister noted that her ministry is committed to improving the standards of service delivery in the tourism industry.
She stressed that the Gambia growth and competitiveness project of the World Bank is currently conducting a survey on the transformation of the Hotel School as recommended by the master plan.
Madam Njie is of the view that upon successful completion of the project, the school would be transformed into a Regional Centre of Excellence.
Minister Njie, who is convinced that the graduates will play a significant role in their efforts to improve service delivery in the hospitality industry, urged stakeholders to give them necessary support in achieving these set goals.
For his part, Mr David Joof, the Principal of the school, said that the 115 graduating students are those who have received both theoretical and practical professional training in various disciplines.
He commended the Spanish government for the construction of the new Hotel School.
According to him, this will go a long way towards providing training for youths interested in the industry, noting that it would bridge the gap for the management training needs of the industry.
The Guest Speaker at the ceremony, Dr. Saja Taal, a Senior Lecturer at the University of The Gambia, who spoke on "nature and role of education" told his audience that quality education should be valued, positing that with the right products in education, people would be able to make right choices.
Dr. Taal maintained that education has to be relevant in all walks of life, and that there should be no gender bias, regarding the types of courses women could enter into colleges.
Dr. Taal strongly called on the relevant authorities in charge of education to encourage women to study the field of education. He said the country is in dire need of female engineers, doctors and scientists. In his view, the Vision 2020 depends on the country's area of science and technology.
In conclusion, Dr. Taal urged other higher learning institutions to offer quality education for the betterment of the country.