The Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, under the leadership of Honourable Professor Pierre Gomez, are working on establishing Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) centres in Sapu in CRR South and Kuntaur in CRR North, respectively. This initiative is geared towards making accessible learning opportunities to students across the country.
Towards these efforts, the Hon. Minister and his Permanent Secretary, Dr Yusupha Touray, and a team of technicians recently visited Sapu and Kuntaur in the Central River Region to meet with community leaders to discuss the initiatives and look at potential sites for the centres. At Sapu, after a review of different sites, the team recommended having it situated between Sapu and Kerewan Samba Sirrah. The Governor of CRR agreed to engage the community of Kerewan Samba Sira and Sapu to have the land allocated for the construction of a TVET Centre on Agribusiness.
The second place visited was Kuntaur, CRR, where the Chairman of the Kuntaur Area Council welcomed the Honourable Minister’s Team with delight. He emphasised the urgent need for a TVET Centre in CRR North. Having recognised the education sector's contribution to the Region, he clamoured for the sector’s continued efforts and that this is much needed in establishing a TVET centre.
The Chief Executive Officer of Kuntaur Area Council said establishing a TVET centre in the region aligns with the Council’s strategic plan. He noted that such an intervention would help address unemployment and irregular migration of the Region’s youthful population.
The Alkalo of Medina, who also allocated part of his land, concurred with the leadership of the Region and reiterated that the initiative would not only address youth unemployment but also increase the income and wellness of the people of Kuntaur and the environment. For this reason, he said, he would not hesitate to allocate his land for this noble cause.
Chief Pierre Bah of Niani volunteered the information that all the five chiefs of CRR are in support of this initiative. He reported that several efforts were tried over the years to establish a TVET centre in the region but to no avail. The Chief stressed that acquiring skills will help people generate a steady income, which can be compared to the country's few avenues of income.
The Permanent Secretary of MoHERST, Dr Yusupha Touray, highlighted that the development of our youth is a leading agenda in the strategic direction of MoHERST. There is a deliberate policy of establishing regional TVET centres across the country to provide the needed skills to make the youth employable.
Furthermore, the Minister of Higher Education, Hon. Prof. Gomez underlined the role of higher and tertiary education as an engine of development. He informed the community that the Ministry is working on realising the President’s vision of upgrading and improving the lives of every Gambian by addressing the menace of youth unemployment and curbing irregular migration. He tasked the Kuntaur Area Council to discuss with the communities and identify the skills needed to be trained in the Centre.