Pierre Gomez, Minister of Higher Education Research Science and Technology (MoHERST)
The Ministry of Higher Education Research Science and Technology (MoHERST) has on Wednesday conducted a review Workshop to validate the Tertiary and Higher Education Trust Fund Bill, Student Loan Scheme Bill and National innovation Fund Bill at the Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara International Conference Center in Bijilo.
The Ministry is currently implementing its Strategic Plan (2021 – 2025) that focuses on access and equity, quality and relevance, scientific research and technological development, and sector management as programmatic areas of intervention.
According to officials, the Fund upon establishment will be used for the development of tertiary and higher education institutions as well as support the financing of the Student Loan Scheme.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, the minister of Higher Education Research, Science and Technology, Professor Pierre Gomez, said the bills are a critical part of the ministry’s reform agenda.
“In that they will contribute to the attainment of equitable access quality and relevance in their Tertiary and higher education, research and innovation and entrepreneurship system, these are the core pillars of the ministry’s transformation agenda as stipulated In the MoHEST specific strategies 2021-2025,” Pierre Gomez, Minister of Higher Education Research Science and Technology said.
Hon. Gomez further highlights the purpose of the higher education trust fund.
“The Tertiary and higher education trust fund is purposely intended to provide the most needed financial support to tertiary and higher education institutions to improve the quality of teaching and learning as well as research activities by acquiring modern teaching and learning materials, improving the capacity of staff and conduct relevant research in the productive sector of economy among others,” said the minister.
Prof Gomez states that the student loan scheme will widen the opportunity for more students to access further education to achieve their aspiration and to help reduce poverty and underdevelopment in the country.
In his remarks, the Minister of public service, Administrative Reform, Policy Coordination and delivery, Baboucarr Boye, advice the participants to look into the rural Gambia when reviewing the documents.
“What we want to emphasise is that if you are reviewing the documents, review them by using the lens topical Gambia, not the Gambian that lives in the urban area but the Gambian in the rural Gambia as well because the issue of funding for higher education is very crucial” he said.
Representing the National Assembly select Committee on Education and ICT, Honourable Bakary Badjie, commended the ministry for coming up with the students load scheme.
“For the minister coming up with this initiative, which is the loan scheme, we the national assembly members are left with no options but to support and in the interest of the nation that we are all here together,” he said.