UN Education Summit: President Barrow Pledges To Invest In Skills Development

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By: Muhammed Lamin Drammeh

President Adama Barrow has promised that his government will invest in foundational literacy and numeracy and employ skills development initiatives as the country begins a paradigm shift in its higher education to Technical, Vocational Education Training (TVET).

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The president said this in a statement delivered at United Nations Transforming Education Summit 2022.

“Government will invest in foundational literacy and numeracy and employ skills development initiatives that enhance independent learning, creativity, interpersonal skills and critical thinking capabilities,” he said.

Early this month, Professor Pierre Gomez, the Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, told this medium that his ministry will give more focus on TVET.

President Barrow, while addressing stakeholders at the summit, re-echoed his government’s commitment to give relevance to TVET.

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He explained that Gambian education previously focused mostly on academic achievement, leading to the perception that TVET is reserved for academic failures. He emphasized that his government will create more technical senior schools in its quest to promote TVET.

“Government will establish more technical senior secondary schools, upgrade subvented tertiary institutions to degree awarding institutions and establish tertiary TVET centres in all administrative regions. The objective is to build TVET-based foundational skills and promote indigenous content,” the President explained.

He noted that the Gambia government will pursue inventive and good financing strategies for education.

Many academics in the country have welcomed the government’s concept of focusing on TVET education, noting that functional education will uplift the country. The Higher Education Minister told The Fatu Network that TVET is a game changer in the country’s higher education system.

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The president together with higher education minister Professor Pierre Gomez are all currently attending the summit in the United States of America.

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