The Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology in collaboration with UNESCO is implementing a capacity-building project on TVET and Digital Skills for young people for improved lifelong learning under the UNESCO Participation Programme.
One of the main activities of the project is to draft a training Programme in Digital Literacy and Motor Mechanic Air-Conditioning repairs and maintenance. To this effect, MoHERST in partnership with UNESCO organized a four-day workshop from the 6th to the 9th of February, 2023, bringing together stakeholders from different TVET institutions to develop a curriculum which will be taught to students in these two areas of study.
Director Anthony G. Mendy in his remark stated that the objective of the short-term project is to equip young people most especially girls with TVET and Digital Skills for improved lifelong learning.
According to him, the venture is hoped to inspire young people to embrace these skill sets and enhance their employability skills. About 50 youths will be trained in this UNESCO Participation Programme.
“The Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology has been mandated to develop the human capital stock of the country. To realise this endeavour, the Ministry is overseeing the transformation of the tertiary and higher education sector by upgrading Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI) to the new University of Applied Science, Engineering and Technology (USET), likewise decentralizing TVET to different regions of the country,” Director Anthony said.
He thanks UNESCO for funding this short programme, the National Technical Team for their valuable contributions and USET for availing the learning space and technical support for conducting the training.
Mr Modou Touray, representative of the UNESCO National Commission in The Gambia (NATCOM) highlighted that digital skills are crucial to the transformation of the TVET ecosystem. He noted that the UNESCO Participation programme is for “our youth and we have to help our youth”.
Furthermore, Gaston Mendy, Head of the Department of Computer Science at USET has assured that USET welcomes this initiative and is prepared to provide the learning space and technical support.
The CEO of NAQAA, Dr Gibril Jaw thanks MoHEST for taking this significant initiative. According to him, Air Conditioning repairs and maintenance for vehicles and Digital Skills are major problems in society. Thus, identifying societal problems and prescribing a solution is apt and commendable. He extended appreciation to UNESCO for their constant support through various projects.
“We cannot afford to miss our target. We are designing a curriculum that will meet the needs of society,” said Dr Jaw.
Finally, the curriculum on ICT & Motor Air-Conditioning Repairs and Maintenance Training Programmes has been reviewed by stakeholders and validated as amended. The next steps are; shortlisting candidates who have applied to the UNESCO Participation Programme and then training begins.