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TVET no longer an issue to debate: MOHERST

Nov 9, 2015, 10:48 AM | Article By: Abdoulie Nyockeh

Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) is no longer an issue to be discussed at the fringes of national and international conferences, but at the center-stage.

This was the statement of the Minister of Higher Education, Research Science and Technology (MOHERST), read on his behalf by the deputy permanent secretary, Jerreh Sanyang, at the inauguration of the newly constructed FONGAM Skills Training Institute at Tujereng over the weekend.

According to DPS Sanyang, it had been realised that TVET is now the engine of growth and development.

The proponents and authorities of modern theories are in agreement that the fastest growing economies, particularly those that emerged from almost nowhere to stand out as giants like the Asian Tigers, have well developed TVET sectors, he said.

He said it had also been proven that the economies that remained buoyant during the recent years are certainly those that have robust TVET sectors, adding that this explains why Germany stood rock firm and unshaken in the European Union.

DPS Sanyang further stated that there was no doubt that “TVET is the option” particularly for the least developed countries, to extricate themselves from the pangs of poverty, underemployment and underdevelopment.

The Gambia government under President Yahya Jammeh did not lose sight of this trend, he added.

According to him, the Ministry of Higher Education is fully aware of its mandate, and being the arm responsible for the development of the requisite human capital, has had two important policies endorsed by the National Assembly.

He added that tertiary and higher education policy and the national sciences, technology and innovation policy, together set out the policy direction of the ministry.

He disclosed that early this year, the ministry conducted a nationwide survey of skills training centres in the country.

The findings underscored the need to revitalise the TVET sector and the need to rethink the whole concept of TVET in the country, DPS Sanyang stated.

He said the higher education ministry, in collaboration with the sister ministry ofbasic and secondary education, is considering a model that would offer an equal platform to students for making a choice for a career path and equal opportunities up to terminal degree.

The model would also allow easy transition from one path to reinforcement of the skills qualification framework, he said.

The framework would also allow credit transfer from one institute to another, when students choose to transfer, he added.

Mr Sanyang also said the establishment of training centres in all regions was not an easy undertaking, and government could hardly do it alone; therefore, the participation of non-governmental actors is much welcomed.

“Our expectation from the onset is that the institute will deliver quality curriculum that is continuously relevant to the labour market needs,” he said.