Nov 12, 2015, 10:04 AM
Mr Fofana made this disclosure while delivering his speech at the graduation ceremony of the institute held at the buffer zone in Tallinding recently.
According to him, tuition fees for course programmes at the institute are reasonable; the objective of which is to help the poor and needy from diverse backgrounds to afford quality education and lucrative skills for self-reliance.
“We will never compromise with quality and our team is very committed, hardworking and ready to serve humanity,” he said.
The programmes covered by the students “are very expensive”, and it has cost the institute almost D3.2 million to train the 400 students, he announced.
“The gesture is a well-calculated one; hence serving the cause of humanity and championing human development and growth,” Mr Fofana stated.
According to him, the institute is a household name and its journey for the past 21 years had been a noble one.
“We have trained more than 15,000 people from different backgrounds, and many are now serving in different capacities in nation-building.”
He said one of the programmes registered 220 participants, 6 withdrew, 3 absent and 7 failed in the final examination, adding that from the above total, 89 personnel were from the Gambia Police Force, DLEA – Drug Law Enforcement Agency, the prisons and other institutions also benefited.
The objective of the programmes is to complement government’s efforts at ensuring quality and productive skills for people, he said.
He saluted the efforts and role of the director general of the institute, Dr Stephen, who is a peace advocate, educationist and vision developer for young people.
He added that the institute is now more than a school, but a centre where new hopes and visions are identified and developed.
He advised young people to venture into productive skills and entrepreneurship ventures in the agricultural sector to be self-reliant.
He disclosed that “very soon St. Stephen Institute would have junior and senior secondary schools”.
Also speaking at the ceremony was the board chairman of the school, Ebrima Jammeh, who said St. Stephen Institute is in The Gambia to help the poor and needy from diverse backgrounds, to provide them with quality education that would be of benefit to them and their families.
“We stand for quality, and we will never compromise it. Our team is very committed, hardworking and ready to serve the needy.”
Mr Jammeh also disclosed that in 2016 they would give scholarships to 400 needy people and public institutions, to increase their productivity and improve their services competency.