By Kebba Jeffang
Both the legal counsel and registrar of the University of the Gambia after accompanying the Vice Chancellor to meet President Adama Barrow on Tuesday, 14 February told journalists that the controversial grading system is at the moment under constant review to make it demanding and as competitive as possible.
In 2015, students took to the streets to protest for the return of the old grading system as the new one requires students to score more than 90% to be able to have A.
Meanwhile, the legal counsel of the UTG said the management is ready to listen and engage the students positively on the matter.
Professor Dr. Faqir Muhammad Anjum, Vice Chancellor of UTG, said this was a courtesy call which he and his senior management team made on President Barrow.
“I highlighted the issues which have been confronting the UTG and he gave assurance that he will give priority to education and generally he will solve the problems on priority bases,” he said.
UTG VC revealed that President Barrow has assured them that the UTG will retain its high quality professionals as it would not be neglected.
Mr. Almamy Taal, legal counsel of the UTG, said the new Faraba Banta campus under construction will have more space and faculties as well as more specializations.
He said the “UTG under the leadership of the new VC is committed to building local capacity to the highest possible level with post graduate programmes up to hopefully PhD level. This is something that the University community is poised and ready to offer to the country in this time of transition and change.”
Responding to a question about the controversial grading system introduced last year, Mr. Taal said in terms of the grading system; “these are things that are discussed at some level and at some detail among the university senates. Academic work is not an easy task to accomplish. But the grading system as it is at the moment is at constant review to make it demanding and as competitive as possible,” he said.
Taal added that there is commitment to engage the student community because they (students) seat on the senate and the governing council by law.
“And whatever their concerns are and whatever their interests are at the moment, the University is willing and ready to listen to them and engage productively on this issues. That’s all we can say for now; there is a commitment to listen to them,” legal counsel Taal explained.
Mr. Momodou L. Tarro, the UTG Registrar, said the issue of the grading system is one of the agenda items to be discussed at their next senate meeting schedule for Tuesday 21st of February. He assured that the grading system as an issue will be discussed there and whatever the outcome is, it will be known to everybody.
It could be recalled that on 25th March 2015, students from different faculties around 4:30pm converged at the law faculty and later took to the streets to protest against the decisions made by the administration on the grading system as well as a 10 percent increment of tuition fees, in the form of a match pass chanting “return our grading system.” They were later intercepted by then Minister of Higher Education, Dr Abubacarr Senghore, who pleaded with them to go back to the Faculty and discuss the issue amicably.