Development must be anchored on skills – HM of Higher Education


The Honourable Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology on Friday, 24th June, visited Crab Island Technical and Vocational Education Training Centre in Banjul. This was to assess progress in terms of teaching and learning of students at the skills centre.

Present was also the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, staff of MoHERST and others.

Upon arrival, the delegation were taken on a conducted tour around the school premises by the Director of the Centre, Hon. Ousman Sillah. Students made live demonstrations of solar and satellite installations, building construction, etc.

In his remark, the Hon. Minister, Pierre Gomez reiterated that there is a paradigm shift in the education system to make it fit for purpose.

“Development must be anchored on skills. To do so we need to engage the youth with skills to stay and develop this country. This is the best way to address the backway syndrome and rural urban migration,” said the Minister, adding that the same way government is supporting the traditional stream of education up to university level, TVET institutions will also be supported in terms of scholarships.

According to the Permanent Secretary of MoBSE, the education sector calls for the inclusion of TVET which is why students will be introduced to Vocational Training at Grade 4. Similarly, the PS was pleased to see the level of determination and desire to learn from the students at Crab Island Technical and Vocational Training Centre.

The seven skills areas taught by the Institution include; electrical installation, satellite installation, solar installation, plumbing, building construction, garment making, hairdressing and tailoring.

Meanwhile, Hon. Sillah informed the delegation that the school is preparing 175 students for a 3-month workplace/industrial attachment while under supervision; this is for them to gain hands-on experience. A number of students are already taken by institutions or companies in the country. Mr. Sillah commended these companies and calls on others to do the same. The students are set to depart on the 1st of July, 2022 and come back at the end of September for their final assessment to be supervised by the National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority (NAQAA), after which they will be awarded certificates.

The school admin thanked The Government of The Gambia and development partners such as MRC Holland and TIKA for the continuous support rendered to the Training Centre. They also solicit more support towards expanding to the second phase in building new facilities to house more programs.