The Gambia College Basse Annex was officially inaugurated on Monday 2nd March, 2020 in a symbolic ceremony held in Basse.
The historic event was graced by MRC Holland Foundation, His Excellency Adama Barrow, Cabinet Ministers, National Assembly Members, Governor URR, Senior Education Officers, Venerable Religious leaders, Civic Society Organizations, Principal, Staff and Students of the Gambia College and host of other dignitaries.
Speaking at the occasion, HE Adama Barrow reaffirmed his government’s commitment towards promoting quality and access to education as enshrined in the national development plan (NDP). President Barrow affirmed that quality education is a national concern and his government will continued to prioritize tertiary and higher education across the country. He pointed out that, building such a magnificent structure in the provincial town of Basse will facilitate access learning for those in the provinces. While he reminds the first badge of students to take ownership of the campus and works towards the betterment of the institution.
Relatively, he concludes his speech by thanking MRC Holland Foundation for funding the magnificent complex and urged the college administration to promote efficiency and effectiveness in their endeavors.
For his part, Principal of the Gambia College Mr Abubacarr Jallow gave a strong statement which entails the needs and constraints of the institution, philanthropic support and endowment of the vicinity.
Principal Jallow expressed his warmest gratitude and sincere appreciation to the people of Basse and the satellite villages for their kind effort in providing land to the college authorities and students. Jallow stressed that, the spacious nature of Gambia College Brikama Campus led to the demand and establishment of the Basse Campus. However, national front was also among the rational behind the construction of the new complex, in which he said the center was discovered to promote decentralization. He said, they are trying to promote quality service delivery and access to all, saying the quality of lecturers will be as per. Making fortification of his statement, he stressed that many are with the notion that provincial education is meaningless and immaterial but this he stated is a passive cognition.
Going further, he lamented that, they are ready to observe quality education in which they have developed the same curriculum for students in Basse Campus and more lecturers to be provided to ease lecture burden, he said.
While stressing on the constraints of the institution, he asserted that NAWEC should help the institution in supplying adequate running water for daily usage in order to compliment the fixed solar water borehole in the Campus. He calls on the donors and other philanthropists to assist the institution with transportation to facilitate the moving of students from their destinations to the campus more especially those that commute daily. “We are calling on the government to consider us in providing subvention in order to commensurate with the standard and quality of the institution”, he affirmed.
The MRC Holland Foundation Chancellor Madam Henrietta Sonko said the Foundation started its operation in Basse in 2015 with a construction of six classroom block. Since then, they have been funding the construction of standard classroom blocks and other facilities all geared towards promoting access, quality and relevant education for all, she asserted. According to her, three hundred (300) classroom blocks has been constructed within URR alone and more structures are to be build, she said.
“The notion and idea of building a higher learning center came into effect in January 2018 after the consent and support from president Barrow”, she buttressed.
Madam Sonko pleasantly said her foundation is willing to fund for the construction of more quarters for staff and students and modern library which will comprise of both manual and technical setup for students to help themselves during their free time for making research and other works. She concludes her speech by thanking Amadou Giggo the contractor for the timely completion of the project.
Governor URR Fanta BS Manneh challenged the students to be steadfast in their endeavors and continue to work hard in order to attain quality and relevant education. Madam Manneh made a famous quotation from the former South African president Nelson Mandela saying “Education is the only weapon you can use to change a nation”. She enjoined students to emulate the slogan and stay strong in their academic work. She further calls on the college authorities to provide competent lecturers that will render quality education to the students.
The hundred hectare state of the earth complex comprises of an administrative office, staff and students quarters, practical laboratories, cafeteria and 18 classroom blocks.
Speaking to Madam Kaddy Fofana coordinator of the Basse Campus said the institution registered 116 students as first badge who are pursuing Advance Diploma Primary and Diploma respectively. Mrs. Fofana expressed her utmost joy for inaugurating the complex and assured that they will continue to foster unity and cordial relations among students in the campus, saying student’s welfareis their concern. She further went on to say, Advance Diploma Primary students are under MRC Holland Foundation scholarship and those in Diploma having credit in English Language with a termly stipend of D3000.
After asking her whether the students will go for teaching practice, she responded in the affirmative saying they will go but will be returning for their access learning during school breaks. She renewed her commitment in promoting standard learning in the campus and more competent lecturers to be provided, she alluded.
Finally, the modern state of the earth complex was officially opened by HE President Barrow with his delegation and College officials after one year work contract by Giggo Construction.