By Yankuba Jallow
‘Jollof Tutors’ has on Thursday 9th November 2017, dismissed allegations proffered against it by NAQAA. The National Quality and Accreditation Authority (NAQAA), recently issued an order for five institutions to seize operations including Jollof Tutors.
The Managing Tutor of ‘Jollof Tutors’ Mr. Alhaji Mamadi Saidy Kurang, told journalists that the allegations are baseless. “Our position is clear, the bullying, arbitrary and extra judicial executive orders must stop. This shall not be obeyed or considered in this new dispensation and we are here to stay and contribute our quota to national development”, he said. “I have been treading the corridors of the NTA and NAQAA for the past 10 to 15 years or more. What is strange is that even though you can be issued a license to teach Accounting, you are not subjected to any relevant test or evaluation in Accounting. Infact I have never met a qualified Accountant in NAQAA, responsible for checking the quality of teachers teaching Accounting, before or after licensing. I have sent several tutors to be assessed and certified by NAQAA and they all have the same experience. None of us ever met an Accountant in NAQAA to assess us”, he said.
He questioned where NAQAA accountants have been hiding for 15 years since the inception of ‘Jollof Tutors’ because he has never met one. He described the attitude of the Accreditation Authority as clandestine and urged them to list the names of qualified accountants who do the assessment of ACCA for them. “What we can now see with NAQAA is a display of Authority without credulity to assess objectively”, he said. “If NAQQA is serious about quality assurance as their press release purports, then why do they insist on accrediting qualifications that they do not possess”, he questioned. He said Jollof Tutors at the moment offers professional training in only Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA).
“The ACCA qualification does not require any accreditation anywhere in the world for a student to study and sit for exams. For more than one hundred years, people all around the world study at home and qualify as Chartered Accountants”, he said. He said Jollof Tutors was founded in the year 2000 to help poor Gambians achieve their dreams, even if they cannot travel to Europe. “NAQAA (former NTA) have no institutional knowledge about the ACCA and have no willingness or empathy for a Gambian initiative that is meant to fight poverty and has trained more than 15,000 young Gambians to find jobs and take care of their families”, he said. “Jollof Tutors is not a school. It is a limited liability Company. We registered the entity even before we started tutorials. Under what section of the Companies Act is NAQAA saying we must close”, he said. He reminded NAQAA the idea that led to the formation of Jollof Tutors which was to help kids and persons, to teach each other basic skills under the trees, community centres, attaya vous among other places.
“To become a professional accountant requires no formal qualification to start with. Even if you fail your WASSCE exams, you have a second chance in life to be independent”, he said. He said in 2017, 86 young Gambians are undergoing a 9 months intensive program of ACCA level 1 which is equivalent to studying Accounting in the first year of a 3 year UK University accounting degree program; that at Jollof Tutors there are those who graduate from CRR, LRR, NBR and NBD for D1,800.00. For those from WCR the fee is D3,000.00 whilst there is no other institution that charges below D10,000.
“The move by NAQAA to issue an executive order to try and control what they know little about is considered by us as suspicious, illegal and ultra vires. I simply call it Bureaucratic Dictatorship because it is only a dictator that tries to control what it does and does not understand”, he said.
“Like many Gambian social entrepreneurs, we are incensed, beaten and broken by years of unending institutional decrees, bureaucratic and executive orders that give little consideration to the needs of young Gambians struggling to make a living. From beach bars razed to the ground by bull dozers under the watch and supervision of bureaucrats to neglected school teachers trying to make a living, the weight of bureaucratic suppression in today’s Gambia continues unabated and suffocating for businesses”, he said.
“The Gambia is probably the only country in the sub-region where citizens are deficiently under-represented in teaching our own children” he said.