On behalf of the President of The Republic of The Gambia, the Minister of Transport, Works and Infrastructure, Honourable Ebrima Sillah on Wednesday, 23rd November 2022, laid the foundation stone for the construction of the first multi-purpose Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) centre in Wassu, Madina Kanteh. MRC Holland Foundation is supporting the Government of The Gambia towards the construction of this skills centre.
In his speech, Hon. Ebrima Sillah highlighted that the Government of The Gambia, through the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology is working on transforming and decentralising some of the public tertiary and higher education institutions to meet its core mandate of building the human capital stock of The Gambia.
Accordingly, Hon. Sillah informed that The Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI) has been upgraded into a University of Applied Science, Engineering and Technology (USET), while at the same time enhancing the quality of its TVET certificate and diploma programmes, as well as upgrading its satellite centres and building more centres to alleviate the rural-urban drift, significant youth unemployment and illegal migration to Europe. Thus, the establishment of this Centre/Institute would promote the teaching of TVET Education, which, HM Sillah identifies as a critical input for economic development and poverty alleviation.
For his part, the Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology Professor Pierre Gomez expressed delight at the warm reception by the Wassu Madina Kanteh Community. Hon. Gomez reiterated that the multi-purpose skills centre will build the critical mass of Gambians in high-skill areas such as engineering to support the Gambia’s development aspiration. Prof Gomez thanked the Governor of CRR, the District Chief, Alkalo and the Imam of Wassu Madina Kanteh for their support of the project.
The Founder of MRC Holland Foundation, Madam Henrietta Sonko assured the community that her foundation will do its best in constructing a standard multi-purpose TVET Centre in Wassu Madina Kanteh. Madam Sonko called on the support of the community of Wassu and its environs to join together in ensuring the success of the project.
The Wassu Multi-purpose skills centre project aims to improve the quality and equity of the TVET Education System through responses to society's needs for high-quality human capital that will enhance The Gambia's 6 competitiveness in the global market. The project will make the tertiary and higher education system more responsive to labour market demand and promote more significant equity and quality in preparing graduates for entry into higher education institutions.
The Skills centre is expected to offer the following programmes upon completion of construction;
- General Agriculture
- Automotive Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Carpentry and Joinery
- Welding Fabrication
- Plumbing and Gas Fitting
- Solar Photovoltaic Installation
- ICT / Computer science