The Honourable Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, Professor Pierre Gomez, on Monday, 23rd October 2023, received in audience the German Ambassador to The Gambia, His Excellency Klaus Botzet and the Advisor for Political Affairs and Public Relations, Mrs. Dominique Buchholz.
The Honourable Minister, Prof. Pierre Gomez, espoused the Ministry's plans to use education to solve the Gambia’s social malaise. He explained that much is done in this drive. Still, he re-echoed that the government has unreserved intentions to roll out more programmes for youth empowerment and invited the German government to join The Gambia in this drive.
Minister Professor Gomez has high regard for the German education model, which, according to him, has general education and TVET streams of education. He is fascinated by the TVET model.
He informed the German Ambassador about the two types of TVET centres adopted by the Ministry: the multipurpose and the specialised TVET approach. He spoke about Ndemban TVET Centre with an initial enrolment of 130 students pursuing construction, carpentry, electrical and plumbing courses. All students at this centre are on Gambia Government Scholarships.
Minister Prof Gomez dilated on the establishment of TVET centres in Mansakonko, Lower River Region, Julangel in Upper River Region, Kanilai in West Coast Region, and those currently under construction in Wassu, Central River Region by MRC Holland and in the North Bank Region by the Ahmadiyya Mission. According to the chief policymaker of the TVET sector, proposals have been developed to establish TVET centres on Agribusiness in Sapu, Central River Region and Fisheries in one of the coastal towns of Kombo South, West Coast Region.
He added that MOHERST is working on a strategy for sustainable financing of post-secondary education in The Gambia, and the Bills, if passed, will help provide the needed opportunity for many youths and education service providers in the country. The Hon. Minister calls on development partners like Germany to support the government's efforts to sustain the TVET revitalization process.
For his part, the Germany Ambassador to the Gambia, H.E Klaus Botzet, emphasised that education opens a possibility to take a different approach for the young persons to live a productive life in The Gambia. H.E. Klaus Botzet informed Minister Gomez of the German government's education programmes implemented in The Gambia. These include developing and rolling out programmes on TVET and using sports to educate young Gambians in social skills.
The Ambassador expressed his willingness to convey and engage the German government to aid the Gambian people in the TVET revitalisation, more so in electronics, plumbing, and automotive. He is equally concerned with the building up of employability skills.
The Permanent Secretary, Dr Yusupha Touray, Mr Demba S. Bah, Deputy Permanent Secretary of Finance and Admin and Mr Samba Sowe, Director of Science, Technology, and Innovation, attended the meeting.