By Awa B. Bah
The delegation of the National Assembly Select Committee on Education, Training and ICT, on Wednesday 22nd November 2017, were received by the Project Manager Pravin Goel of Shapoorji Pallonji Engineering and Construction Company and the Vice chancellor of the University of the Gambia, Professor Faqir Muhammad Anjum, at the UTG Campus in Faraba Banta.
The Select Committee were on an inspection tour of the campus to ascertain the level of progress of construction works and to also discuss issues of concern with the management of the University and the contractors.
Pravin Goel, Project Manager of the Construction Company said the construction work is in progress and that they are committed towards the satisfaction of the Gambian populace who will be the habitants of the facilities.
The plan he said, prepares the groundwork for a flexible campus design, based on a modular faculty building that has the flexibility to program for different multi campus educational desires. The ninety- hectare space he said is designed to meet international standards of the Campus to meet future students and staff needs.
Processor Ousman Nyan Deputy Vice Chancellor for Academics said the new Faraba Banta campus under construction will have more space with modern facilities and faculties as well as more specializations to meet the demand of academics. The campus he assured will set a new standard in The Gambia, and its environmental profile will serve as an important educational tool for students and staff. Funding for the campus he said remains a big challenge in attainting the desired objective of the University. He called on the National Assembly and Ministry of Higher Education for more collaboration in making sure that the university is seen as a top priority both at the level of the government, donor partners and the private sector.
Reacting to the highlights on the update of the construction works and the campus in general, members of the select committee expressed their satisfaction on the level of commitment shown by the leadership of the University in setting a new standard in the education system of the Gambia. They assured that the issues discussed will be tabled for consideration. The Gambia according to them has started a new beginning and people particularly public institutions should join hands together towards it’s development. Higher education, they noted, will be seen as a priority at all levels of decision making. They however challenged the leadership of the university to consider looking at some of the challenging issues at their own level so as to help relieve the burden on Government.