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Professor Gomez Envisions Gambia College’s Evolution Into A University as a Pivotal Force Shaping The Nation’s Future.

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Prof. Pierre Gomez, Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science, and Technology,

By Landing Ceesay 

The Minister of High Education, Research, Science and Technology (MOHERST), Prof. Pierre Gomez, has expressed confidence that the transformation of Gambia College into a specialized University will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the country.

Prof. Gomez made these remarks during a validation workshop for the draft roadmap outlining the transformation process.

Addressing participants at the workshop, Prof. Gomez emphasized the profound purpose and optimism behind the initiative. The transformation aims to turn Gambia College into a specialized University of Education, with the potential to revolutionize the nation’s education system and positively impact the trajectory of future generations.

“I stand before you today with a profound sense of purpose and optimism as we convene to validate a Draft Roadmap for transforming the Gambia College into a University of Education. This transformative initiative holds the key to shaping the future of our nation’s education system and, in turn, the destiny of our children,” Prof. Gomez said. 

The two-day validation workshop, organized by the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoHERST), focused on the draft roadmap for the transformation. The ultimate goal is to establish a specialized university dedicated to training high-quality teachers and experts in various educational domains.

To achieve this objective, the Higher Education Ministry formed the Gambia College Transformation Committee (GCTC), which conducted extensive research and drafted the roadmap. Prof. Gomez underscored the commitment to excellence, equity, and foresight, envisioning a university that not only meets current educational needs but also anticipates and addresses future challenges.

“Our vision for this transformation is rooted in a commitment to excellence, equity, and foresight. We aim to establish a specialised university that will not only meet the immediate needs of our education system but also anticipate and address future challenges. The fundamental principles guiding this initiative are quality, accessibility, and relevance,” Prof. Gomez told the gathering. 

According to Prof. Gomez, the plan involves transferring all schools of Gambia College to the University of The Gambia, except for the School of Education, which will find its new home in the transformed Gambia College. This strategic separation is intended to facilitate a focused and specialized approach to teacher education.

“As we embark on this transformational journey, our focus is driven by a steadfast dedication to fostering quality education, creating robust career pathways for Teachers, and ensuring their training is elevated to degree levels. For instance, the role of ECD teachers is undeniably crucial, laying the foundation for a child’s educational journey. By elevating their training to degree levels, we empower them with the knowledge and skills to provide the best possible start to our children’s educational journey. 

“Similar is valid for the primary and secondary teachers. Another critical dimension is the training in education planning and management. School Headmasters, principals, and planners must learn the appropriate and latest management and planning principles to ensure that our schools are on the right pedestal,” Prof. Gomez stated. 

In addition, Prof. Gomez proposed a comprehensive and streamlined approach to pre-service teacher training, accompanied by priority investments, funding, and resources. He advocated for a thorough review of entry requirements to ensure that only qualified individuals are selected for the teaching profession.

“Furthermore, while emphasising the importance of quality over quantity, we advocate for a thorough review of the entry requirements for pre-service teachers. The entry requirements for pre-service teachers must undergo a rigorous review to ensure that ONLY appropriately qualified individuals are selected for this noble profession. By raising the bar for entry, we guarantee a pool of educators who possess not only academic excellence but also the passion and commitment required to shape the minds of our future leaders,” he said. 

Addressing the need for a motivating work environment for education personnel, Prof. Gomez called for a holistic review of the curriculum. He emphasized the importance of a dynamic and evolving curriculum that incorporates innovative teaching methods and technology and fosters critical thinking skills.

The overarching goal of this transformative initiative, according to Prof. Gomez, is not merely to upgrade an institution but to elevate education standards in The Gambia. The focus is on increasing equitable access to tertiary and higher education, ensuring that every Gambian has the opportunity to receive a world-class education.

“This includes incorporating innovative teaching methods, embracing technology, and fostering critical thinking and analytical skills. This forward-thinking approach will enable us to produce not just teachers, but transformative educators who can adapt to the evolving needs of society. 

“The rationale behind this transformative initiative is clear: establishing a specialised university that produces quality teachers and specialists across various fields of education. This transformational agenda is not merely about upgrading an institution; it is about elevating the education standards in The Gambia. We aim to increase equitable access to tertiary and higher education, ensuring that every Gambian can receive a world-class education,” Prof. Gomez alluded. 

The transformation agenda for Gambia College aligns with the broader vision of increasing equitable access to tertiary and higher education, ultimately producing world-class teachers capable of delivering quality education to the people of The Gambia.

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