Friday, July 18, 2008
Sukai Bojang, the Secretary General of The Gambia National Commission for UNESCO (NATCOM), has said that The Gambia is a country that must invest in its human resources, if it is to meet its Vision 2020 goal, that is:
To transform The Gambia into a financial centre, a tourist paradise, a trading, export-oriented agricultural and manufacturing nation, driving on free market policies and a vibrant private sector, sustained by a well-educated, trained, skilled, healthy, self-reliant and enterprising population and guaranteeing a well-balanced eco-system and a decent standard of living for everyone and all under a system of government based on the consent of the citizenry.”
She made these remarks on Monday, during the official opening ceremony of a regional workshop on educational and Islamic schools, held at the Baobab Holiday Resort in Bijilo.
Mrs Bojang described the workshop organised by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO), as yet another manifestation of the organisation’s commitment to building capacity of member states in the fields of education, science, culture and communication.
“For this year, ISESCO has accompanied the education sector of The Gambia in its drive to support the Arabic/Islamic schools. So far, two training programmes have been conducted here and another one is planned for October 2008.
One of the boarding schools for girls, Aisha Oumoul Al Mumineen of Kanifing has been provided with assistance to acquire audio-visual teaching aids for the school,” she observed.
For his part, Baboucarr Boye, permanent secretary at the department of state for Basic and Secondary Education, said the government of The Gambia, under President Jammeh’s leadership, has demonstrated a lot of commitment in the field of education and in the development of the country.
He added that this commitment has also been demonstrated in the area of Arabic/Islamic education, by giving special attention to the Madrassas, as evidenced in the establishment of a Madrassa Unit under the Department of State for Basic and Secondary Education, and also the creation, through the proprietors of the Madrassas, of the General Secretariat for Islamic and Arabic Education.
PS Boye revealed that the Madrassa institutions contribute about 15% towards the Gross Enrolment Ratio at the primary level and provide a lot of opportunities for secondary education as well.
Dr Youssef Abou Daka, the ISESCO Representative, said throughout their history, the Arabic Islamic schools have had a distinctive role in stabilising and widening the identity of Muslim nations, as they contribute immensely in the improvement of human, economic and social indicators in these nations through reduction of illiteracy and providing youths with practical skills, scientific, and theoretic upgrading of their capacities, and also reinforce them with values for which they will organise work and earnings.
“It also contributed to the reinforcement of the modern educational institutions with the administrative, scientific, and administrative experts, scholars of jurisprudence and preachers through centuries,” he revealed. The ISESCO rep also said that his organisation will continue in its efforts to collaborate with different stakeholders in order to support the Arabic/Islamic institutions in their positive practices, so as to realise their effectiveness in the quest for the protection of the original message of Islam through memorisation of the Holy Quran and spreading of Islamic values.
Author: by Assan Sallah