The Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoHERST), on the 29th September 2020, virtually conducted its 9th Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Committee meeting.
The meeting was widely attended by representatives from various stakeholder and partner institutions; such as the International Trade Center (ITC), National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Authority (NAQAA), Gambia College, Association of Gambian Manufacturers (AGM), National Association of Vocational and Skills Training (NAVSTI), Sass Cosmetology and Skills Trading Academy, the staff of MoHERST, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Gambia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI), among others.
Giving an overview of the implementation of the TVET road map, the Director of Tertiary and Higher Education, Mr. Anthony G. Mendy said the MoHERST TVET Unit continues to monitor the implementation of the roadmap by resource mobilization, coordination, performance monitoring, advocacy and communication.
He went on to identify lead organizations in the implementation of the activities. They include: MoHERST, NAQAA and NYC, with support from the Deutsche Gessellschaft fur Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), UNESCO and ITC.
On the challenges, Mr. Mendy pointed out COVID 19 as a major obstacle to the implementation of certain activities due to restrictive measures put up by the government.
The meeting advanced with representatives of lead organizations verbally giving updates on key activities during the past quarter.
The five activities implemented by MoHERST include the launching of the new TVET and apprenticeship policy, preparing the ground for a reform of the TVET funding system mechanism, the provision of rural youth with training opportunities through existing TVET centers, multi-use centers and new models of mobile and remote delivery, build alumni networks likewise pilot new multi-use training center in rural districts.
The Head of Research and Development of NAQAA, Sambujang Marreh, also highlighted eight significant activities the institution is currently undertaking despite challenges posed by the COVID-19. The activities include the establishment of occupational standards through a private sector-driven approach - the identification of gaps in training provision, related equipment and facilities - updating learning and teaching materials and developing access to online resources, among others.
Presenting on behalf of GIZ’s contribution to the TVET roadmap, the Head of TVET Unit, Mr. Lamin Kenjo Cham outlined three thematic areas the organization is working towards. They consist of providing support to distance learning, apprenticeship training and the revival and extension of training institutions.
In the final phase of the meeting, the floor was open for questions and answers. Concerns raised by participants were addressed by the Deputy Permanent Secretary (Technical) of MoHERST.
In his closing remark, the DPS of MoHERST, Mr. Yusupha Touray, expressed gratitude to the committee for their collaborative effort and contributions to TVET. He went on to reaffirm the commitment and support of the Ministry in ensuring the progress of Technical and Vocational Education and Training in The Gambia.