NGETCELL- In his thirteen-pages statement during his traditional State opening of the National Assemble on the 31st March, President Yahya Jammeh promised that his government will make university education free by 2018 without fail.
He said, the focus of his Government in education at all levels will be on relevance, quality, accessibility and affordability. “As we begin the implementation of the new education sector policy, 2016 to 2030, renewed emphasis is being put on Technical and Vocational Education which cuts across the education sector from basic and secondary to the tertiary and higher education with entrepreneurship as a key element.”
He went on to say that his government has been making to create educational opportunities for every Gambian child, and informed the Gambians of the introduction of the School Improvement Grants at the senior secondary level with effect from September 2015 which will eventually enable all children to attend school without funding. “My Government will also continue to work strenuously towards making university education free in 2018 as well in fulfillment of our desire for free Universal education for all our children,” he assured.
Jammeh also added that before the end of this legislative year, a Basic Secondary Education Bill, a University of the Gambia Bill and a Tertiary Education Bill aimed at revising the current Education Act will be brought for the consideration of the National Assemble members in order to support the implementation of the new Education Sector Policy 2016 to 2030.
“With support from the Islamic Development Bank (IDB) and The Arab Bank for African Development (BADEA) in partnership with OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the construction of over 200 classrooms in 70 madrassas and over 300 classrooms in conventional schools will take place respectively starting from May 2016. In addition, through funding from the World Bank, 27 multi-grade schools will be provided with annexed facilities as well as staff quarters,” he revealed.
He concluded by saying to improve the quality of teaching and learning, curriculum-linked digital content for mathematics, science and English will be developed for students in Grades 7 to12 and through the use of customised tablets; the content will be made accessible to these students. He also added that he is pleased that construction of the long awaited UTG main campus at Faraba Banta will commence this year. This new campus, when completed will enhance teaching and accommodation at the UTG.