Oct 4, 2013, 10:14 AM
The President International Award Scheme (PIA) yesterday graduated 143 students after they have successfully completed a three-year course within the framework of the National Training Authority.
Speaking on the occasion, Ousainou Sarr, acting Chief Executive of the PIA, said that since the inception of the institute in 1979, they have been working with the Government of The Gambia for the betterment of the institute and the students.
“Over 30 years we have been able to produce thousands of young people to the job market to stay in a healthy life,” Mr Sarr said.
He called on the graduates to make good use of the knoeledge and skills gained from the studies and training. He also urged the students to explore and utilise their talent for productivity.
“Young people should take up the challenge as well as champion the development cause of The Gambia,” Mr Sarr said, whilst advising the young graduates to be role models and stay away from harmful drugs, crime and violence.
He said that by the next academic year, the institution will introduce inclusive programmes such as plumbing and machinery. This, he added, is part of the institute’s innovation, saying they would continue to improve on their service.
He thanked all that contributed to the institute to make it what it is today. He also thanked the parents and staff for being supportive of the centre and the students.
Also speaking, Edrisa Kolley of the National Training Authority said the Technical Vocational Educational Training (TVET) is given high priority in developing countries and The Gambia is not an exception.
Mr Kolley said: “Since stating its duties in 2006, the National Training Authority (NRA) has been regulating training providers to see that technical training becomes qualitative.”
However, he mentioned that the NTA is facing a challenge of cutting the operational cost of TVET, whose learning demands and cost most students find difficult to meet.
He says that another issue facing his institute is that graduates use to abandon their fields of study and knowledge gained from those studies for something else.
The NTA has come up with the Gambia Skills Qualified Framework, which is competent based and good for Gambians, he said. “This will enable students to work anywhere in the sub-region,” he added.
While encouraging the graduates to do more, he also urged parents to send their children to registered organisations that are recognised by the NTA, which will give them more chances of succeeding in securing jobs.
Other speakers on the occasion included Malang Jersey, director of Youth and Sport and Marcel Mendy, executive secretary of the National Youth Council.
Musa Mbye, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sports, was the guest speaker of the occasion.
Certificates were awarded to the graduates at the end of the ceremony.