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Insight established to provide quality skills training – principal

Sep 7, 2016, 2:45 PM | Article By: Halimatou Ceesay

Ismaila Ceesay, principal of Insight Training Centre (ITC), has said the mission of the centre is to make training for skills acquisition accessible and affordable.

He made this remark during the 17th anniversary of ITC held at the Churchill’s Town branch in Serrekunda on Saturday.

Mr Ceesay said the mission of Insight since inception has been to provide quality, affordable, relevant and easily accessible skills training to everyone especially the youth.

He said it is in line with this mission that they expanded operations to Sinchu Alagie and Basse.

He noted that the anniversary offers the opportunity to reflect on the strides made in fulfilling the mission and shortcomings encountered along the journey so far.

“Until we see Gambians are able and trusted to produce quality services that are equated to the imported ones, we will not relent in our quest to do more,” Mr Ceesay said.

ITC, accredited by the national authority, is Gambian-owned and managed by a pool of Gambians who are experts in their various fields.

“In 1999, we set out on a journey of uncertainty which is the establishment of a training institution,” the principal said. “At that time, it was believed that tertiary education was largely for non-Gambians because there were few training institutions.”

Since establishment, more than 3,000 people have graduated from Insight Training Centre in different fields of study such as electrical installation, architectural draughtsmanship, construction, information and communication technology, journalism, marketing, management, human resources development, and English language.

The centre has also been expanded to Basse, more than 300km from Banjul, in Upper River Region in January 2013.

“The objective of the Basse branch is to extend tertiary education to rural Gambia as most tertiary institutions are located within the Kombos and Banjul,” the principal said.

“The next challenge the school tasked itself now is to spread technical and vocational training opportunities to all across the country to create access to quality, relevant and marketable skills.  This is really a goal that Insight Training Centre is struggling to achieve.”

Mr Ceesay said 30% of the students are on scholarship, adding that giving scholarships to needy students enrolled at the school has been a tradition since inception.

“As a practice, Insight Training Centre offers scholarship to the best student in each class every year from day one of its operations,” he explained.

The ITC principal said the school can boast of having most of its graduates, if not all, in either the private or public sector.

“Almost all our students are engaged, either being employed or self-employed,” he said.

“As a success story, all our classroom blocks, monument and staff house and generally everything structure at the Annex is done by the students themselves as part of their practical.”

At Sinchu Annex, there is now 24-hour power supply as the installation of the solar system had been completed since October 2015.

Mr Ceesay said: “The prison project, geared towards the training of inmates in electrical installation, is completed and we are awaiting the graduation ceremony.

“Ultimately, our prisons will become a correction centres.  It will also serve as deterrent to most of them if not all.  The inmates will walk out of the jail with some degree of skills and knowledge to keep them busy that they will not be found wanting to go back to jail again.”

On staff welfare, the principal said the school has a staff welfare credit union where almost all the staff have benefitted from loan scheme at the lowest interest rate in the country, 5%.

Mr Ceesay said that in February 2016, officials of the Ministry of Higher Education visited Insight as the biggest private tertiary institution to test the ministry’s monitoring and supervision guidelines for tertiary and higher education institutions.

The grading for schools of excellence starts at 70% and ITC scores 89.3%, making it one of the schools of excellence thanks to the leadership of the board, management and staff, the principal said.