Hon. Prof Gomez urges students to embrace technical & vocational edu. at Insight Training Centre graduation

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The Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Hon. Professor Pierre Gomez has called on students of Insight Training Centre to embrace Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). This was during the graduation ceremony of the centre’s three cohorts from 2019, 2020, and 2021 on the 18th of June, 2022.

In his statement, Hon. Gomez commended the International Trade Centre (ITC) for their work towards empowering the youth of the country with skills that are relevant for national development. 

The graduates consist of students in the fields of Information Technology, Journalism, Construction, Banking, Plumbing, Architecture, Business Management, Human Resources, AutoCAD, Business Studies, Electrical installation, and Marketing, among others. The Minister was impressed to discover that some of the graduating students are either already employed or employing other people in their businesses.

The Hon. Minister went on to share that The Government of The Gambia, under the leadership of His Excellency President Adama Barrow, through MoHERST, has since 2017, embarked on the transformation of the Tertiary and Higher Education sector.

 

“This process was guided by the development of a strategic plan, 2021 – 2025, so as to actualize the government’s transformation agenda of developing the human capital stock of this country.

The mission of the strategic plan, therefore, is to establish a tertiary and higher education system of reputable (world-class) institutions and centres of excellence, that will produce well-educated and skilled citizens with the requisite competencies to lead fulfilled lives and compete nationally and globally. We see Insight Training Centre on that path,” said Hon. Gomez.

 

According to him, the intention behind the Ministry’s transformation agenda is to revamp some tertiary education institutions into degree-awarding institutions, thereby, increasing equitable access and quality tertiary and higher education for all Gambians. This, in turn, will address perennial issues of unemployment, poverty, illegal migration, low-skilled manpower, and dependency syndrome, among others.

“The process has started with the transformation of GTTI to the University of Applied Science, Engineering and Technology (USET). Three (3) degree programmes in Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Electronics/Electrical Engineering have since commenced with mentorship from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (Ghana) and De Monfort University (UK). This is expected to provide a pathway for TVET students and graduates to obtain higher qualifications. Today, we can comfortably say that those graduates of Insight Training who have the qualifications would soon be given the opportunity to pursue their careers to degree levels at this University. And when they do, they will come out as more productive job creators for their own brothers and sisters in the sub-region,”  said the Minister.

In pursuit of the transformation agenda, the Ministry has been working with genuine partners to revitalise and strengthen the TVET system for improved skills acquisition and employability of young people, especially women and girls. The decentralization of TVET to all regions of the country is also anchored on the need to bring TVET to the doorsteps of all Gambians. Institutions such as GTTI Annex, Mansa Konko - LRR, Julangel Skills Centre - URR,  Ndemban Skills Centre and Kanilai Skills Centre - WCR are currently undergoing the transformation to absorb the youth of these respective regions. Other initiatives are being pursued to reach out to areas such as North Bank, CRR North and URR North. All these efforts are being complemented with the development of a National TVET Policy that would guide the management and administration of the TVET ecosystem.

In his closing remarks, the Hon. Minister lauded parents for investing in their children to learn. He extended gratitude to the Ministry’s esteemed partners in the transformation of the tertiary and higher education sector namely: UNESCO-KOICA, World Bank, GIZ, European Union, International Trade Centre, MRC Holland Foundation, etc.