Oct 3, 2013, 9:34 AM
Every year the Taiwanese Embassy in The Gambia gives over $6000 to the University of the Gambia (UTG) to sponsor ten deserving and needy students.
In line with this gesture, the embassy yesterday presented a cheque for $6000 for ten UTG students at a ceremony held at the embassy in Bakau.
The Embassy Scholarship, according to the Taiwanese ambassador to The Gambia, Dr Richard Shih, is a special fund initiated by his mission from their internal expenditure.
In presenting the cheque, in the presence of the beneficiary students and members of the UTG’s top cadre, the chief Taiwanese diplomat encouraged the students to make the best use of their scholarships.
“It is our solemn tradition. Last year we went to your complex in Brikama, and today we are doing the presentation in our new complex,” he said. “My two and half year experience in this country has made me realise that Gambian students are equally better and hard working like students anywhere.”
He praised the performance of Gambian students both at the UTG and in Taiwanese institutions of higher learning.
Dr Shih added that every year the Taiwan International Cooperation for Development Fund (ICDF) also offers scholarships to students from many parts of the world, and that there are more Gambian students than those from any other country.
“Gambian students do extremely well in Taiwan in a very competitive learning environment,” he said.
He cited Kumba Conateh and Kebba S. Bojang as examples for registered best results, while studying in Taiwan in 2008 and 2010 respectively.
“I am happy to see young and smart UTG students receiving scholarships from the embassy this morning. Also, ICDF is calling you to continue your studies after completing your degree programmes at the UTG,” he announced.
Ambassador Shih expressed optimism in the future of Gambian students, especially when they make the best use of the opportunities put at their disposal.
In receiving the cheque on behalf of the students, Professor Muhammed Kah, vice-chancellor of the UTG, commended the Taiwanese Embassy for the gesture.
“You are not a friend; you are a family member. So, I will call you a brother,” he declared.
Kah used the opportunity to thank the government and people of the Republic of China on Taiwan through ambassador Shih for all the support they have been rendering to the UTG.
University plays a pivotal role in preparing the youths of the country to become responsible citizens, says professor Kah.
He argued that any Gambian student who applies himself or herself anywhere in the world is bound to be successful.
“We are very touched to hear ambassador Shih recalling the success stories of our students in Taiwan,” he said.
Professor Kah maintained that Gambian students are from humble backgrounds, and most of them are first generation children who without support might not be able to pay for their tuition fees.
Nfamara K.Dampha on behalf of the beneficiaries applauded the Taiwanese embassy for coming to their aid. Human recourse development is essential for the socio-economic development of any country, said Dampha.
He pledged that they would utilize the scholarships, while describing the gesture as an inspiration for them.
Acting deputy vice-chancellor for administration and finance, Dr Omar Jah Jr., delivered the opening remarks, while Alhaji Gumbo Ali Touray, Director of University Relations, chaired the presentation ceremony.