NUGS 2nd annual congress ends

Thursday, March 6, 2008
The 2nd annual congress of the National Union of Gambia Students (NUGS) ended last Sunday at the Friendship Hotel in Bakau.

The meeting provided a platform for the delegates to address pertinent issues of the organisation. The aim of the congress was among others to address the issue of integration of tertiary institutions with the University of The Gambia.

In his opening remarks on the occasion,  Hon. Borry Colley, National Assembly Member for Foni Jarrol, on behalfof the Speaker of the National Assembly and a former teacher advised the students about the importance of discipline in their educational career. According to him, discipline constitutes the secret to success in any endeavour one has taken upon him or herself.

Honourable Colley further highlighted the need for Gambian students to make best use of what he called “the super-power of peace prevaling in the country”, adding that they must explore, research and develop themselves to the highest level of the educational ladder.

For his part,  Ebrima Sanneh, president of NUGS,  underscored the importance of common goal and purpose among people who are learning together. He then noted that NUGS still remains glued to their objective as stated in their mission statement ‘our objective is to pursue by all possible means the promotion of the general welfare of students by creating a vibrant union that can actively execute duties and responsibilities, participate in academic and socio-cultural issues which are of interest to its members and the nation at large’.

The governing of NUGS, he further said, is characterised by the prevalence of democracy and transparency in the effective execution of its policies.

Elaborating on the challenges the union is faced with, Mr Sanneh said these includes the lack of a national office to properly carry out their duties and responsibilities.

Abdoulie Sallah, secretary of State for Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, underscored the importance of holding such a congress, saying the event, apart from being a constitutional requirement, is a forum to exchange ideas at the tertiary level, which would promote cooperation, interaction and understanding among students.

He expressed gratitude to NUGs for awarding Presidnt Jammeh with the Man of the Students Award 2007 in recognition of his tireless efforts in assisting students and in promoting education in The Gambia.

He then applauded  President Jammeh for  his vision to open  the doors of educational opportunities to Gambians and for making education one of his chief priorities. He equally acknowledged the role education plays in the development of any country. “There could be no meaniningful development without education. Equally,  it can only be through peace and stability that social and economic development can be realised, SoS Sallah noted.

He then advised the students to be disciplined, respectful and to always consult with elders on decisions affecting their lives, while challenging NUGS to help in encouraging students to embrace research, science and technology as according to him, The Gambia needs a critical mass of scientists, mathematicians and techonlogists to support the realisation of the Silicon valley and the Science Park Initiatives.

It would be recalled that NUGS was established in 2005 by six educational institutions comprising the University of The Gambia, the Gambia College, the Gambia Technical Training Institute, the Management Development Institute, the Gambia Hotel School and the International Business College.

Author: by Ebrima Jatta