The World Bank and the Association of African Universities (AAU) initiated the project on Africa Higher Education Centers of Excellence to build capacities of Africa Universities for Africa’s human capital formation and research.
The second phase of the project has been launched and has offered to establish an emerging center of excellence on Science, Technology and Engineering for Entrepreneurship (STEE) within the GTTI.
Mod A.K Secka, permanent secretary of the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology said in the drive to provide quality and relevant higher education in The Gambia as enshrined in the National Development Plan, his ministry is working with partners and stakeholders to implement a much-needed higher education transformation programme.
“This programme is anchored on the aspirations of Gambian people to make education relevant to the needs of the market, the individual and the society,” he said.
He said like other parts of the world, Gambia’s education system has suffered a mismatch and has decided to join the race for a transformation that shall ensure instructional quality and relevance.
He explained that the first phase of the project has trained many Gambians at MSc and PhD levels in the areas of STEM, health and agriculture with a great number of Gambians now working in their respective MDAs with knowledge and skills in computer science, statistics, agriculture, environmental sciences, engineering and health.
“GTTI as strategically planned and already has 12 of its teaching staff trained under the initial project in engineering and technology at MSC level in the centers of Excellence,” he said.
Edward C. Mansal, director of GTTI said the inaugural meeting provides an opportunity to begin their transformation journey with a section of some of the most experienced stakeholders who would help the governing council and the management of the emerging centre in the implementation and evaluation of programmes and projects of the centre to deliver expected outcomes.
“TVET is the driving force for economic growth and industrial development and this should be common goal of Gambian people,” he said.
He explained that the TVET is particularly important for promoting economic development, expanding employment size and improving the quality of employment, saying that as an emerging centre, GTTI possesses various strengths and advantages, which led to its resilience and achievement to lead the way in providing the required TVET skills set for employment.