Tuesday 26 March 2018
Next Generation Foundation (NextGen), a foundation that provides support to future leaders through education, consultation and scholarships last Thursday conducted its first regional consultation on education at the President’s International Awards skill center in Bakau.
The consultation was done in a form of town hall meeting where forty students discussed with stakeholders access to quality and relevant education for all, Sustainable Development Goal 4 which targets to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all, education policy, access and equal opportunities in the education sector and the role of civil society in the advocacy of the right to education. It was organised under the theme: Access to quality and relevant education for all.
Lamin Saidykhan, NextGen programme manager disclosed that they target to achieve coordinated and credible advocacy for the right to achieve good quality and relevant education for all and to enable effective and positive participation in national development processes. “Next Generation Foundation is conscious of the need to promote access to quality and relevant education by contributing to the further promotion of youth development and education,” he said.
Mr. Saidykhan said the initiative is motivated by their recognition of the significance of education and youth participation in development, coupled with the demographic dividend of young people and their potentials in the promotion of the right to education. “NextGen acknowledges that every youth is a potential future leader regardless of their parents’ income. They should have access to a quality education and will ensure that future leaders acquire knowledge, skills and ethical values needed for development, good governance, peace and security and social inclusion,” he stated.
According to him, among their achievements include awarding of ten scholarships to upper basic and senior secondary schools, provision of educational support to Gambian young people through scholarship. “Our aim for conducting the consultation is to complement one another’s effort in the area of inclusive education for all including children with disabilities, build synergy in responding to challenges facing the right to education, share relevant information on policy development and implementation processes regarding education, youth development and empowerment.”
Sainey Drammeh, director of President’s International Awards encouraged the students to maintain focus on their education in order to make a difference in their lives. “The youth stage of our lives is very critical, so let us take the opportunity that many institutions have to offer for us and what do they need to take from us so that we can advance our life into the next stage.”
Executive Director of National Youth Council Lamin Darboe urged the students to be responsible, emphasising that there are very few students who would desire to become teachers after school. “I never saw a graduate of Gambia College who is jobless. I call you student to focus on your education to become responsible future leaders,” he emphasised.
Sidat Gaye, national coordinator of Education for All Campaign Network-The Gambia delivered a presentation on the importance of quality and relevant education, right to quality and relevant education and Section 30 of the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia which talks about the right to education.
Author: Pa Modou Cham