Congratulations to all the University of The Gambia graduates who had their degrees conferred on them today 27th February 2021. University education is not an easy journey anywhere. Many start it but not all finish it. Elsewhere, people commit suicide because of the incredible challenge that comes with it. But of course the resilience of the Gambian student is so overwhelming, that is why we do not have such cases.
And within those who finish it, not all do so at the expected time. For those who finish it, it means sacrificing pleasure and leisure. It meant spending holidays and weekends on fieldworks and assignments. The past four years had been very stressful for a good number of you especially those who took courses during the Corona epidemic which saw UTG switching to online classes. We know how tough it was.
FIOHTG is happy to congratulate you all because we place education at the core of our mandate. We are facilitating adult education for many who did not have the opportunity at your age while encouraging those within the regular education age group to take it seriously. We have been calling on parents to send and maintain their children in schools and we will continue to do so. We’ve been supporting communities to ensure education for all. And we’ve been training teachers to ensure rural dwellers get quality and relevant education to make informed decisions and excel in life. As we write this, two of our officers Mr. Jobe and Mr. Sambou are in the field training teachers. We believe that our education programme is key in breaking the unequal access to education.
Today we call on government to ensure that university education is free for all Gambians who have the requirement. There are many brilliant students who keep on deferring because they cannot pay their tuition fee. There are some who cannot even enroll. This is unacceptable. We know that as Mandela knew very well that we can change the world through education. If we want to change the Gambia and the life of every citizen, we must give education to everyone, free of charge. If people are freely admitted to the police academy, in the army, the fire and rescue service, students should be freely admitted to the schools of Arts and Sciences, Medicine and Allied Sciences, Education, Agriculture and Environmental Sciences, Public Health, Engineering, Business and Public Admin, Law and Graduate Studies.
FIOHTG is proud of the great contributions it receives from Mr. Kemo S. Kinteh our HR Officer since last year who bagged his degree along with Naffie Jatta, Malick Ndimballand and Oumie Ceesay all interns at FIOHTG. We have seen the great contribution of other graduates that we’ve worked with in communities and partner organisations around the country. We will continue to provide internship spaces for UTG and other tertiary institutions to give them firsthand training on the tools/theories they have seen in class.
Finally, just as UTG was difficult and you made it, life after UTG will present its all challenges but trust us they too shall be crushed. Remember the principles you have defended in class, recall the positions you have taken, they are more needed today than ever. Honesty, dedication, sacrifice. Sweat and blood for the good of the country.
Once again, congratulations to you all, especially our own Mr. Kinteh, Ms. Ceesay, Ms. Jatta, and Mr. Ndimballand.
Not forgetting Mr. Kallidou, an adopted son of Mrs. Kristina of the Gambia Groups.