By MUHAMMED S. BAH
Members of the National Assembly, on Tuesday, 20 December, 2016 passed the Tertiary and Higher Education Bill of 2016.
Tabling the bill before law makers at the National Assembly, The Hon Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoHERST), Dr Abubacarr Senghore, said a sound and efficient tertiary and higher education governance system requires a sound and futuristic legal instrument that governs the operations of all tertiary and higher education institutions in The Gambia.
He pointed out that currently there is no legal instrument governing the establishment and functions of public and private tertiary and higher education institutions in the Gambia.
“It could be recalled that the ministry of higher education, research, science and technology was created in February, 2007 and since then there have been rapid expansion of the sub-sector in terms of tertiary and higher education institutions and student and staff numbers,” he remarked.
He underscored that the governance structures of these increasing number of institutions of higher learning in the country needs to be standards of higher education governance.
According to Minister Senghore, part two of the bill brought before the assembly deals with the establishment and functions of public universities.
The bill, according to him, has also adequately addressed issues relating to officers including chancellor, vice chancellor and others of public universities regarding their appointment, removal and functions as contained in the bill.
Minister Senghore further explained that the financial discipline and efficient financial management system is critical to the operation of all public and private institutions, hence the inclusion of part seven dealing with financial provisions relating to public universities.
Hon Ebrima Solo Jammeh NAM for Foni Bintang Karanai seconded the motion by saying that the main purpose of this bill is to provide proper legal framework to confirm tertiary and higher educations and how to govern them in the Gambia.
The deputy speaker of the national assembly, Hon. Fatou Mbye, on her part said no nation can develop without a critical mass of qualify, skills and experience human resources.
The majority leader and NAM for Serrekunda East, Fabakary Tombong Jatta highlighted the relevance of university education in the Gambia. He described it as a great move and development towards every nation.