In continuation of his familiarization tour to different tertiary and higher education institutions, the Honourable Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology visited the Management Development Institute (MDI) on the 16th of May, 2022. This afforded him the opportunity to know more about their programmes, plans and challenges.
The Director General of MDI, Alieu K. Jarju and staff, welcomed the Hon. Minister and his team to the institution. He went on to underscore the significance of education towards the development of knowledge, skills and capabilities of its citizenry. According to him, funding for higher education is not given the number one priority. Thus, he hopes that the Hon. Minister of Higher Education, Prof. Gomez, can assist in changing this trajectory.
Mr. Jarju also notified of MDI’s engagements with international bodies. So far, the Management Development Institute has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with major players in fields of research, consultancy and training in Africa and beyond. Some of these include, Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), which will be assisting MDI towards its transformation phase into a degree awarding institute and a Centre of Excellence for management and finance; also Sup De Co, Dakar, African Institute for Economic Development and Planning (IDEP), among other partnerships.
Currently, the institute is developing a new strategic plan for the transformation of MDI into Gambia Institute of Public Administration and Management (GIPAM). Also, Mr. Jarju listed some plans of the institution and areas in need of support. These include;
- Construction of three centers in the provinces to enable easy access for students in remote places (Kiang East is identified as one of the priority areas)
- Digitalization of the MDI library
- Having diploma programs in Islamic Finance and Entrepreneurship
- Construction of multi-purpose complex; examination hall and sporting facility
The Hon. Minister lauds the leadership of MDI stating, they have a vibrant staff who are able to come up with solutions to problems. Notwithstanding, he assured the support of the Ministry of Higher Education in bridging existing gaps with regards funding of tertiary and higher education institutions.
A way of doing this, he expatiated, is by coming up with strategies such as having a Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFUND).
“This is what happens in Nigeria and Ghana and it’s different from the subvention given by government. We need to have a national fund on tertiary and higher education that will be project driven,” Prof. Gomez stated.
Furthermore, he tasks all tertiary and higher education institutions to look into their challenges/areas in need of support, write concept notes and proposals ready and costed. Then submit to MoHERST and ways of funding, either through government subvention or private partnerships will be identified.
Meanwhile, Hon. Prof Gomez took the opportunity to tour around the MDI campus meeting staff and students of the institution. He was also given the honour to formally officiate the operation of a newly purchased generator by MDI, which is hoped to provide electrical supply at all times.
According to the Minister, the aim of MoHERST is to boost infrastructural development, promote creative and innovative approach to educational learning and service. Stimulate, support and enhance improvement activities in the educational foundation areas, link teacher education, teaching practice, library development and special education programmes.