518 certificate, diploma holders graduate at Gambia College

Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Five hundred and eighteen young Gambians from the three schools in Gambia College, last Sunday graduated with certificates and diplomas after undergoing three years extensive courses in different educational disciplines.

The graduates included Higher Teachers Certificate (HTC) holders, Primary Teachers Certificate (PTC) holders, Certificate, Diploma and Higher Diploma in Agriculture, as well as Public Health and Nursing. A colourful graduation ceremony of  was held at the College campus in Brikama, which was attended by top government officials and well wishers.

Dr Momodou Lamin Sedat Jobe, former secretary of state for Foreign Affairs, who was the guest of honour, congratulated the graduates for what he described as a “well-struggled” achievement. He informed them that it is through discipline and general attitude to life and its problems that they can achieve their set target goals. He further told them that women and men who have made great contributions to the advancement of knowledge, including science and technology, have done so through a judicious cultivation of their morals.

He then urged the graduates to apply  a great sense of responsibility in the development of their country and the African continent as a whole. Alpha A Khan, chairman of the Gambia College Council, commended the graduates, maintaining that they had worked hard for the successful completion of their courses over the past three years. “Today is a day for you to celebrate together with your families, friends and loved ones,” he told them, reminding them that the graduation was a beginning as it ushers them into real life. He then encouraged the graduates to continue the hard work that has brought them far in achieving the first step of being qualified to enter the profession of their choice. To become best person, he told graduates they must use their talents to the fullest potentials. “You must have something to challenge you. You will then be sharper, happier and stronger as a result,” he added.

Chairman Khan then challenged them to go out and continue the tradition of helping people and to help building The Gambia as envisaged in Vision 2020. “Take the cue from President Jammeh, whose generosity spans over individuals, families and society in the areas of personal, education, health and all walks of life,” he said. Delivering his annual graduation report, Alieu Badara Senghor, principal of the Gambia College, said graduation is one of the times when one enjoys the present and acknowledge the special recognition that is being accorded on them. He told the graduates that they should remember and thank their roots and the love and loyalty of their families and friends, for their role in whatever success they have achieved.

Administration and finance  
Reporting on the administration and finance aspect of the college, Senghor used the platform to inform the gathering that the college was able to implement some aspects of the new salary structure that was approved by the college council in 2007. In July 2007, he added, the college started paying the new increased salaries to its entire staff, which ranged from 36% to 62% of the government integrated pay scale.

Principal Senghor further informed the gathering that the renovation and rehabilitation of the college facilities are at their completion, with great changes on the deco. He pronounced before the gathering that the environment of the college now looks refreshingly pleasant and conducive for teaching and learning. The dormitories, he added, has now been refurbished and rehabilitated, with comprehensive policies developed in their use for the student accommodation. He said that the policies were drawn up with the full participation of the students and was discussed and endorsed by the college council.

Higher Diploma in Agriculture (HAD)
According to the report of principal Senghor, the college has made significant progress in the area of offering Higher Diploma in Agriculture. A total number of 19 students, of which sixteen are male and three are female, he said, have successfully completed the programme and are among the graduates.

Higher Diploma in Agricultural Education (HDA Ed.)
The Higher Diploma in Agricultural Education programme, Senghor went on, has a total of 12 students that includedd 10 male and 2 female who have also successfully completed the programme. He told the gathering that this programme has now been merged with the HTC in agricultural science in the College School of Education and run by the same department. Other programmes that the college is offering, he said, included Certificate in General Agriculture and Certificate in Animal Production (Equine Husbandry).

Principal Senghor then thanked the government of The Gambia for creating education avenues for Gambians. He also thanked the department of state for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology for their cordiality for making the graduation a success.

Ebrima Bah, president of the Gambia College Student Union congratulated the graduates for their great achievement. He also appealed to the Higher Education department to recruit full time lecturers as most of the lectures at the college are on part-time
Author: by Amadou Jallow