#National News

GPU sponsors 34 MAJaC students

Mar 29, 2021, 12:24 PM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

The Gambia Press Union (GPU) has provided partial scholarship to 34 journalists, including 18 females, to be trained at different levels of journalism education (from foundation to advanced diploma) at the Media Academy for Journalism and Communication (MAJAC).

The scholarship was launched at the academy’s group last Thursday.

David Belgrove OBE, British High Commissioner to the Republic of The Gambia said the more professional, objective and open the media is, the stronger its impact on stable economic growth and positive international engagement.

He added that people need the media to ensure free and open debate, promote discussion and the exchange of ideas, including technological and economic ideas as well as political ones.

He added that the media is needed to root out corruption, hold governments to account, inform and engage people around the world on issues that matter most to them in their day-to-day lives.

The media he further said provides investigation and examination to ensure power is checked and decision-makers are held accountable.

He added that freedom of the media can help support a country’s socio-economic development.

Therese Gomez, Program Officer at GPU explained that last year, the GPU signed a 1.3 million dalasi project with the British High Commissioner to promote media freedom and freedom of expression by amplifying the sensitisation activities of the CSO coalition on Access to Information.

She added that in addition, in a bid to strengthen the capacity of Gambian journalists, the support covers tuition costs for some MAJAC students.

She observed that many journalists struggled in 2020 with work and studies as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. For that reason she said they spent 227, 000 dalasis on the scholarship of students.

Sang Mendy, Managing Director MAJaC expressed delight with the assistance, saying at some point they withheld students’ results, delayed their recruitment to the next level and asked some out of their classrooms because they owed the school.

This he added was in a bid to keep the institution’s standards. He further said that they have not had classes for seven months due to covid-19 but had to continue paying their staff, and had to resort to some measures to recover outstanding balances.  

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