By Saikou Suwareh Jabai

The Principal of the Gambia College stressed that today technical education is the key to a country’s development.

Mr. Abubacarr A. Jallow, who was the guest speaker, said this at the first ever graduation ceremony of the thirty-five grandaunts of the Saamasang Senior Secondary School  held at the school ground in Brikama last week.

He said the role of technical and vocational education in national development cannot be overemphasized, adding that the primary purpose of technical education is useful employment for the adults and young who are preparing to enter occupations in agriculture, business, and home-making, industrial and technical fields.

“Technical and Vocational Education played a vital role in National Development, especially in areas which include generation of employment of job opportunities, industrial development, entrepreneurship strategy, poverty alleviation and the promotion of economy,” said the Gambia College Principal.

Mr. Jallow said technical education is defined as education that prepares one to the world of work where all the knowledge, skills and attitudes that are required by the labour market are inculcated to the trainee before being absorbed or employed.

“Here in the Gambia, technical education has not been given prominence as desired until of recent when both MoHERST and MoBSE in their policies have put a great deal of emphasis on Technical and Vocational Education and Training,” he said.

According to UNESCO, Technical and Vocational Education is used as a comprehensive term referring to those aspects of the educational process involving, in addition to general education as the study of technologies and related sciences, and the acquisition of practical skills, attitudes, understanding and knowledge relating to occupations in various sectors of economic and social life.

The Principal of the school, Mr. Musa Baldeh, speaking earlier, described the day as historic and essential because it is the first ever graduation ceremony of the school in which a total of thirty-five students are graduating.

He said Technical Education refers to a range of learning experiences which are relevant to the world of work stating that the learning experiences may occur in a variety of learning contexts, including educational institutions and work places.

“In this broad definition of TVET, these are vast differences between the different systems of TVET and their social contexts,” said the school principal.

Dilating on industrial development, he said technical and vocational education helps a nation develop technologically and industrially by producing people competent and capable of developing and utilizing technologies for industrial and economic development since it is a tool that can be used to develop and sustain the manpower needs of any nation.

“At this juncture, I must send my sincere gratitude to the Saamasang Federation, parents, students, teachers for their solid support towards promoting the school at a higher height,” said Mr. Baldeh.

Momodou K. Bah, the head boy, who delivered the vote of thanks, thanked the stakeholders for their support to the school since its inception in September 2013.

He challenged the students in the other grades to endeavour to continue defending the good name of the school saying that they have done their quota and would ever be grateful to the management and staff of the school for their support and foresight as well as good humanitarian gesture given to them in the past three years.