Jul 5, 2013, 10:48 AM
is widely accepted that education is the most important weapon that one can use
to change the world. It is also believed that education carries utmost
importance in all ages because it functions as an engine of development,
progress and prosperity for any nation.
The University of The Gambia recently held its 12th convocation for over 800 students from various departments within the university. This is a landmark achievement in the country’s development endeavors.
It is interesting to note that when the idea of establishing a university in The Gambia was first conceived by the former President some years ago, majority of Gambians were skeptical about the viability of this most noble project.
Years on, the institution has proven to be a centre par excellence and is continuing to consolidate its landmark achievements. What is even more encouraging is that products of the UTG are now present in every sector of our public and private services.
As rightly stated by President Barrow at the 12th convocation, sustainable peace is both a goal and a process of building a common vision for a united community. He maintained that the vision is a nation that the university and all educational institutions should help to build, free from extremism and prejudice, and a nation built on equity in a new Gambia whose institutions are robust, accountable and able to stand the test of time.
This in fact reminds us that all developed nations around the world have made their mark thanks to the quality of education provided to citizens. Most of the developed countries have yielded greater benefits from education by improving its quality. They have achieved sustainable socio-economic growth and progress. And they are ahead of developing countries in every field ranging from economy to industry, technology to science, arts to culture, history to heritage and what not. This is mainly because they have prioritised this necessary tool than anything else.
However, President Barrow also reminded all that his government is expected to manage the affairs of the nation, but without peace and stability, there cannot be any sustainable development.
We therefore, congratulate the graduates and their families for this year’s convocation. We also implore them to give back to the government and society what was heavily invested in their intellectual and professional development. To the grandaunts, they should always bear in mind that the purpose of education is to replace an empty mind with an open one.
They should also always remember that the privilege of a university education is a great one; the more widely it is extended, the better for any country.
‘‘There is a good reason they call these ceremonies ‘ commencement exercises’. Graduation is not the end; it’s the beginning.’’