BY Sarjo Camara-Singateh

The Gambia Press Union (GPU) and its stakeholders have validated the curricula of the GPU School of Journalism at the end of a three day workshop which concluded yesterday at Djembe Hotel & Resort.

The panel included journalists’ trainers and lecturers, regulators, quality assurers and other stakeholders. Three components of the curriculum were validated – for the certificate level, the diploma level and the advanced diploma level.

Mr Amadou Jallow of NAQAA a legislated authority which develops criteria and standards for curricula in tertiary institutions was quite impressed by the curriculum that has been developed.

He indicated in his remarks at the close of the workshop that the curriculum is up to standard and in line with expectations. “It will go a long way in building the capacity of Gambian Journalism,” he said. He noted that the curriculum is flexible and well covered from certificate to advanced diploma.

Mr. Sang Mendy, the acting director of the GPU J-School, in his closing remarks described the curriculum as a working document that will enhance the competence of the journalists, adding that when the media is empowered it will play a crucial role in the democratisation of the country and its socio-economic development. Though he did not say when the school will resume he did give assurance that it will be sooner than later.

He extends gratitude to the EU through UNESCO office in the Gambia for assisting the GPU J-School with equipment that will enhance the learning process.

Ways to pursuing a degree course in journalism at UTG in a shorter time after the successful completion of an advanced diploma course at the GPU School of journalism was also discussed and this seems possible. In his statement at the closing the Secretary General of the Gambia Press Union, Mr. Saikou Jammeh remarked that the validation is a good start for the collaboration with the University of The Gambia or any other partner to enhance the profession of journalism in the country.

Maimuna Sidebeh, the senior programme officer, on communication and information, National Commission for UNESCO expressed her pleasure in the efforts of all the partners who have made this process a success.

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