By Alhassan Darboe
Momodou Sabally,former secretary General and minister of presidential affairs has faulted the conversion of GTTI to a university of Engineering, Science and Technology. Writing on his Facebook page, Sabally said: “A country that doesn’t have a single solid high school level physics lab has no business trying to set up a so called university of science and technology…stop misleading our President…..I am really worried about this one … So disappointed with Higher Education Minister Badara Joof!”.
Also adding her voice to the chorus of voices speaking against the move by government to convert GTTI into a technological University, Kumba Daffeh, a Gambian social commentator and educator commonly known as Tresor closet- beyond said: “The story of putting the cart before the horse. All the high schools I have been too have no functioning Science labs. Really, who are they going to graduate to get to the school of Science. We just like to look good on the outside without taking care of the insides, the reason why most things fail. We just are allergic to following due process and doing the right thing for the sake of prosperity.”
Also commenting, Cherno kebbeh,a U.S based Gambian- American economist added: “I couldn’t agree more. It is a complete joke. How do you just elevate a polytechnic to a university overnight”?
According to a recent press release by Ebrima Sillah,Gambian minister of Communication, cabinet ministers have approved the planned transformation of the Gambia Technical Training Institute into a University of Engineering, Science, and Technology (UEST).
The release from the Communication minister further added: “The transformation of the GTTI into a University is expected to create opportunities to address the high-level skills gaps within the country’s workforce. The transformation will also accord the emerging University to retain its current responsibilities to augment and improve the quality and relevance of these programs. It will strengthen technical certificate and diploma levels and will respond to critical needs of students who will take up degree programs in Science, Engineering and Technology,’’
Gambian higher education is in shambles. Gambia University despite the best efforts of the administrators is currently struggling with poor learning facilities, outdated libraries and poor internet access for students. Marina International School, a private high school in Bakau is more equipped with learning facilities than University of The Gambia. Gambia college, MDI, GTTI and other private colleges produce graduates who if they ever wish to enroll at Gambia University mostly start from scratch because Gambia University does not give them credit for classes taken in other tertiary intuitions.