Heads of the Gambia’s Ministries of Higher Education, Basic and Secondary Education and Information Tuesday briefed President Adama Barrow on activities related to  the implementation of the  National Development Plan (NDP) 2018-2021.

Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education gave an overview of the school going age based on the lasted census figures of 2013 and elaborated on the efforts to align gender disparities and rural urban divide by reducing access to schools from 3 kilometers to 2 kilometers. The other issues raised in the presentation included quality of education and retention of girls to complete the cycle of basic and secondary education.

The Higher Education Ministry focused on scholarship awards at tertiary institutions, regional distribution of centers of Excellence and prioritising professional specialisation. It gave priority to capacity development and Institutional strengthening such as transforming the Gambia College and Management Development Institute –MDI to universities.  Technical vocational education training is decentralized at the regions.

The Higher Education Ministry also has plans to work with the private sector on the needed skills.  It took innovative steps to fund higher education.

The Ministry of Information and Communication Technology outlined it strategies with targeted timeframes to enhance e-government, cyber security and liberalise the international gateway. It also reported on progress on a National Information and Communication Policy and strategy.

President Barrow commended the ministries and urged them to improve.  He added that the NDP is the guide to all government sectors and they should work to achieve its targets through innovative means.

The group presentations were followed by comments and contributions on the state of alignment of the sectoral policies and plans in line with the NDP.  It also provided opportunity to monitor the coordination of sectoral activities on cross cutting issues and cabinet decisions.