By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh
Amid the barrage of criticism directed at the government of the Gambia for their lack of meaningful investment in the University of The Gambia which has, to a great extent, contributed to the lack of classrooms and furniture in the Brikama campus, the Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Honourable Professor Pierre Gomez has pledged that UTG students and staff’s suffering and cries for classrooms will soon be a thing of the past as the UTG Faraba Campus nears completion.
The UTG students based on the Brikama campus struggle for furniture and classrooms for lectures. In the last academic semester, some students at some point had to attend lectures outside due to the unavailability of classrooms for on-campus lectures.
Minister Gomez, who served as a Dean for the School of Arts and Sciences for ten years, said those days will soon be over as work on the Faraba Campus is 90% done.
“Those days will be over, and they will soon be over. A committee is working on a bidding document for furniture and lab equipment,” he said.
He further elucidated that he must deliver and the completion of the Faraba campus cannot be postponed. He said he knows the suffering of UTG staff and students.
“I have written to the contractors. I have sent them two letters that we cannot postpone this. The delivery cannot be extended. I am coming from the UTG. I know how the students and the staff are suffering. It is my responsibility and that is the first thing the President asked me to do. I must deliver. There is no option. If not, I have failed,” he affirmed.
Gomez, who had lived and witnessed challenges UTG students and staff are faced with, told The Fatu Network that the government is not neglecting UTG and that the president is committed to making sure that the UTG Faraba campus is complete.
According to him, by early 2023, the schools of Business and Public Administration, Arts and Sciences, Education, Information and Communication Technology and a library will be completed on the UTG Faraba campus and students from those schools will be attending their lectures in Faraba uninterrupted.
“By 2023, January – February, God willing, they will move to Faraba Campus and have their lectures. Their classroom problems, furniture equipment, will be over for the schools I mentioned,” he told TFN.
In addition to the Faraba campus phase one that will see some schools move to the Faraba campus, the honourable minister revealed to The Fatu Network that his ministry has an additional 23 to 24 million dollars, all for the University of The Gambia.
UTG Faraba campus, in the Eastern part of Kombo, is expected to house other schools in the next phase.
The campus will have dormitories but the Honorable minister for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, said they are yet to sit over the issue of the dormitories.