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Tourism Minister Attributes Rise In Irregular Migration To Educational Challenges In Africa And Asia

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Hamat NK Bah, Minister Of Tourism and Culture.

Tourism and Culture Minister Hamat NK Bah, while addressing people of Illiasa and Sabach Sanjal Constituencies in a meeting held at Farafenni Lower Basic School, blamed African and Asian governments’ failed educational system as the primary reason for youth embarking on dangerous ‘backway’ journeys.

He expressed deep concern about the alarming rate of youth falling victim to the perilous ‘backway’, stating, “Our young people, the future of Africa and Asia, are perishing in the sea, which is extremely disheartening. The root cause, in my opinion, lies in the failed educational systems of African and Asian governments. At the time of independence, there was no syllabus or curriculum tailored for national development. This flawed educational system is responsible for our young people dying in the sea.”

The Minister urged African and Asian governments to reevaluate their educational policies.

He criticized the neglected educational system, not just in Gambia but throughout Africa, asserting, “We cannot produce competent professionals to contribute to national development due to the system’s neglect. Instead of focusing on practical skills, we were taught master’s degrees in French, English, and doctorate degrees in political science.”

Minister Bah also stressed President Barrow’s commitment to revamping the educational system to provide quality education for all Gambians. “Our goal is to transform the educational system. President Barrow aims to establish an educational system where every Gambian can receive a quality education regardless of the school they attend,” he stated.

He highlighted the Barrow government’s efforts in creating employment opportunities for the youth stating “President Barrow has pledged to generate 150,000 jobs for the youth of Gambia to address the ‘backway’ syndrome. That’s why, during his recent visit to Saudi Arabia, he signed an agreement with the Saudi government for Gambians to work there,” he explained.

In conclusion, the Minister appealed to parents to refrain from selling their lands and cattle to fund their children’s ‘backway’ journeys. He urged them to believe in the Barrow government’s efforts to create jobs and improve the educational system, which will provide better opportunities for their children’s futures.

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