By Awa B. Bah
The Education, Training and ICT select committee of the National Assembly Monday 20th November 2017, engaged the Staff of the Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI), during a visit to the institution in Jeshwang. The purpose of the visit was to gather firsthand information about the institution and to engage the staff and management on the challenges faced by the institution.
Among the issues discussed include general staff welfare, curriculum, learning materials and the laboratory, student recruitment, infrastructure and maintenance and sources of funding.
The chairman of the select committee said the visit was to partner and see how best they can work together to improve the lot of the institute to attract more students.
Highlighting on the oversight visit of the select committee on education, training and ICT, the Director General of GTTI Mrs. Jahou S. Faal, said in 1980 the legal framework establishing the institution was by an act of parliament to provide training opportunities to satisfy middle level technical and vocational human resource requirement of the country; that the institution started operations in 1983 with the provision of craft level programmes in a variety of technical and commercial disciplines; that since inception the development within have been guided by plans and realistically set objectives. These developments, she said have been based on the country’s human resource development objectives as enshrined in various Government policy documents such as the national development plans, education policies, vision 2020 and the programme for accelerated growth and employment (PAGE).
Over the years, she said the institution has expanded in its programme from the old craft level provision from full technological certificates from highly recognized programmes, moving from manual shorthand to computerized stenography. She said that student’s enrollment has increased to over 2000 per year with course provision in more than sixty different programmes under various departments of the institute. Fall continued that all seven departments are located at the GTTI campus in Kanifing with three annexes such as Banjul, Mansakonko and Julangel offering pre-vocational and pre-technical in various specialized skilled areas.
Sidia Jatta, a member of the educational, training and ICT committee commended the staff and management of GTTI for their efforts in shaping the minds of young people in their technical career; that the GTTI is a key institution in the Gambia that should be the number one priority in government’s scale of preference. He assured that the challenges faced by the institution will be taken into higher consideration at their level. Government he said, needs to prioritize institutions like GTTI.
Other members of the select committee commended the GTTI management for their efforts towards the development of young entrepreneurs. They assured that GTTI issues will be put into higher consideration.
At the end of the meeting, a conducted tour of workshops and classrooms of the institution was made by the team. The student Union of GTTI also had an audience with the NA select committee, to voice out their concerns to them. They called on the committee to intervene in their welfare, when it comes to their learning environment. Saikouba Jarju the rapporteur of the committee, promised to table the issues for consideration.