Minister Of Higher Education Tours Construction Site At UTG’s Dental School

Minister Of Higher Education Tours Construction Site At UTG’s Dental School
Minister Of Higher Education Tours Construction Site At UTG’s Dental School

Africa-Press – Gambia. Professor Pierre Gomez, the Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science, and Technology, recently visited the construction site of the University of The Gambia’s (UTG) new School of Dentistry.

The visit aimed to evaluate the ongoing construction efforts firsthand.

The development of the School of Dentistry marks a significant milestone in the Ministry’s plan to advance the nation’s higher education sector.

Post-inspection, Professor Gomez disclosed that the President has endorsed further funding to expedite the school’s completion in the near future.

“We decided to come here to Banjul under the instruction of the President of the Republic of the Gambia, His Excellency Adama Barrow, to inspect the work going on. Because it has stalled for a while because of funding. This is internally generated fund, all coming from the Gambia government, not from development partners. This is from taxpayers’ money. His Excellency instructed that this work needs to be completed.

“The way we pushed for Faraba, we must also push for the School of Dentistry here in Banjul. When we push with God’s hand, the work will be accomplished. In the coming months, this place will be completed. The President has given instructions for funding to be provided over D30 million to be provided as extra funding to support for the completion of this work. That’s the assurance I want to give to the health community, and also the University of the Gambia, the Vice Chancellor and his team,” Prof. Gomez told the Journalists.

The construction is expected to wrap up in the upcoming months, setting the stage for the graduation of the Gambia’s inaugural batch of locally trained dentists by 2026.

Professor Gomez extended thanks to the Federal Republic of Nigeria for offering crucial manpower assistance throughout the construction phase.

“The government is ready, as the President reiterated yesterday when you paid that courtesy call on him. He is ready to champion the development agenda, and the transformation agenda of higher education. That’s why he is willing to invest and that’s why he doesn’t want to wait for any funding elsewhere, our own funds will be mobilized to build and complete this school. So that for the first time in the history of the Gambia, we have a School of Dentistry. So that come 2026, the first badge of home-grown Dentists will graduate from Banjul. That is the message,” Prof. Gomez said.

Earlier this month, the Directorate of National Pharmaceuticals Services, a branch under the Ministry of Health, officially approved the proposed curriculum for a Doctorate of Pharmacy program at the University of The Gambia (UTG).

The primary objective of the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences is to foster collaborative interprofessional connections and advance pharmacy practice within Gambian society.

Professor Gomez, speaking to the press, highlighted that the Ministry, in collaboration with other governmental bodies, is actively pursuing financial backing for the establishment of the School of Medicine and Allied Sciences, encompassing the School of Pharmacy. This endeavor aims to ensure the graduation of locally trained pharmacists in the country.

“The Gambia government is ready, to launch that transformation agenda, and it is on. Today it is Dentistry, tomorrow Faraba, and in the coming months and years it will be Faraba. Because, we have already developed a concept note and is also funded to the UTG and Ministry of Health, all stakeholders. To look for extra funds over 43 million dollars to build a new structure at Faraba. That is going to be the third phase for the School of Medicine and Allied Sciences that will include Pharmacy. So that for the first time in the history of the Gambia, we can train Pharmacists at that level,” Prof. Gomez said.

Following the successful completion of the first phase of the University of The Gambia’s Faraba Bantang Campus, the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science, and Technology, led by Prof. Pierre Gomez, is intensifying efforts to ensure the timely completion of phases two and three.

In addition to physical infrastructure upgrades, the Ministry is proactively revising curricula, demonstrating its commitment to revitalizing the nation’s higher education system to align with global educational advancements.

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