On Friday, 3rd February 2023, the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology validated the National Strategy for the Digitalization of TVET and Skills Development in The Gambia, at the Ministry’s premises in Bijilo.
The Digital transformation is about the integration of digital technology into all levels of TVET; fundamentally changing how teaching and learning are delivered to trainees. The Strategy has outlined the need for a cultural change to continually challenge the status quo, letting go of work processes we were used to for decades to introduce new practices.
The Project is funded by UNESCO through the Pan African Initiative for Digital Transformation of TVET and Skills Development Systems in Africa and is being implemented by MoHERST.
In his remarks, the Deputy Permanent Secretary Technical of MoHERST, Mucktarr M.Y Darboe underscored the significance of the strategy for the digitalization of TVET in The Gambia. According to him, we live in a digital world, and as a result, it is important for TVET institutions to keep up with the pace of technological advancement for national development. Thus, the development of the strategy is timely and relevant.
In his statement, the Director of Tertiary and Higher Education of the Ministry, Anthony G. Mendy extended the appreciation of MoHERST to UNESCO for their support in funding this significant project.
“The ministry is on a transformation agenda of elevating TVET to the highest level. In the recent past, the highest qualification for TVET was a higher national diploma. However, with the establishment of the new University of Applied Science, Engineering and Technology (USET), degree programs will now be offered to graduates,” said Director Mendy, adding that TVET will never be second fiddle to academic studies.
Mr Mendy went on to stress that the digital divide is affecting The Gambia and other countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Thus, with the coming of this National Strategy, he is optimistic that there will be a significant change upon its implementation.
Dimitri Sanga, the Director of the UNESCO Bureau in Dakar lauded the Ministry for its active leadership and support throughout the development of this significant strategy. According to him, UNESCO will continue to support the government of The Gambia’s efforts in elevating the teaching and learning of TVET in The Gambia.
Speaking on behalf of the National Commission for UNESCO in The Gambia (NATCOM), Principal Programme Officer, Mr Lamin Jarjou thanked the National Technical Team and stakeholders for their significant contribution.
“This strategic document will serve as a guide on how to utilize digital technologies to improve efficiency, and change processes, procedures and workflows. This will lead to a positive institutional shift at all levels of The Gambia’s TVET and skills development systems to enhance lifelong learning and build a competitive workforce,” he stated.
The Consultant of the Project, Dr Jorjo Ndure Tambedou expressed her sincere appreciation to the Ministry, UNESCO, the NTT and other stakeholders for their support throughout the journey of developing the National Strategy for the Digitalization of TVET in The Gambia. She underlined the significance of implementation in effectively utilising the strategy.
“It’s been a long journey with a series of workshops. I am pleased now that we have a Strategic Document. Just as we came together to develop the strategy, we should all make sure it is implemented,” Dr Tambedou emphasised.
The National Strategy for the Digitalization of TVET and Skills Development forms Pillar 5 of the National TVET Policy: Harnessing the benefits of the digital era for building a quality and competitive workforce.