By Arfang M.S. Camara
The Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoHERST) on Tuesday launched over D5, 560, 140 (five million, five hundred and sixty thousand, one hundred and forty dalasis) project to facilitate an online lesson for students of the University of The Gambia (UTG) to limit lessons that might be lost during the covid-19 trying times.
This project, which will start from April 28th and run for six months, is to support student’s education as part of social distancing measures to curb the spread of the deadly Covid-19 coronavirus in the country.
Speaking during the briefing, Juldeh Ceesay, deputy permanent secretary, Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs said that they have supported the process which will last for three months, while hoping that before the three months’ elapse, the pandemic will vanish.
She assured her ministry’s continuous support to the Gambian students especially those studying abroad, noting that they have prepared funding for the feeding and tuition fees of students studying abroad.
For his part, Mod AK Secka Permanent Secretary, Ministry of higher said government pays D70 per student whilst the UTG management pays D140 to each student per month; thus, he said D210 is paid per student for free megabytes.
“This initiative will ensure students do not miss a semester or a year as a result of the covid-19 pandemic. We have negotiated with the GSM operators such as Africell, Qcell and Gamcel, in order for them to provide free access to internet for students, in terms of getting google plus, so that lectures and other materials can be posted on the google class and then students can follow,” he revealed.
Ousanoiu Corr, UTG director of Finance said the amount spent on additional laptops and data sims for adjunct (assistant) and other lectures, is to D3, 861, 160 (three million, eight hundred and sixty-one thousand, one hundred and sixty dalasis).
“The total amount includes megabytes for students, additional laptops and data sim for adjunct (assistant) and other lectures,” he said.
Professor Perre Gomez, chair of the task-force and senior lecturer at the University of Gambia, said the online class will be conducted via Google classroom and other online resources will be available unlimited to students for six good months.
“The details of all the registered students have already been sent to the GSM providers so that they can have access to this Google class without any problem,” he said.