The Gambia Education Minister receives her Honorary Award at Hudd

Gambia visit

Tue, 16 Jul 2013 12:56:00 BST

The Honourable Fatou Lamin Faye was awarded the Doctor of University award at the University at the awards ceremony this week. She is the Honorable Minister for Basic and Secondary Education. Links with The Gambia are many, and included a visit to The Gambia by University staff earlier this year.

She was joined by former student Mr Ebrahim TAS Dondeh, Mr Abdoulie Loum, who is the Director General of the Gambia Technical Training Institute,  the Honorable Francis Litty Mboge (Minister of Works, Construction and Infrastructure), Her Excellency Elizabeth Harding (Gambia’s High Commissioner in UK) and her daughter,  Ms Yandeh Jobarteh.

Professor Christine Jarvis, Dean of the School of Education and Professional Development, delivered the oration for the award.

Part of the speech given by Professor Christine Jarvis, Dean of the School of Education and Professional Development in her oration for the award is included here;

‘Fatou Lamin Faye graduated from the School of Education and Professional Development in the University of Huddersfield in 1997 with a BEd (Vocational Education in Developing Countries) and achieved an MA (Management and Vocational Education) in 1998.  We are especially proud of her because her life has been dedicated to the improvement of Education, and through education, the life-chances of the children and young people of her country. 

Prior to becoming Minister for Basic and Secondary Education, she contributed to many significant education and training initiatives in The Gambia.

In 2002, she was appointed as Director of the Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI), an organisation which is responsible for the provision of aspects of technical and vocational training and provides a wide range of HND and certificate courses. This was and is a significant role in a developing country where a well-qualified skills’ base is especially important for progress and economic stability.

In a report to the Global Partnership for Education*  established in November 2011 to address the Millennium Development Goal: Education for All, she spoke about seeking to break cycles of illiteracy and of her aim to ensure the deployment of teachers within deprived communities. She also stressed the need for gender parity at all levels of education and, throughout her career, has placed an emphasis on the education of girls.  As the Gambian Minister for Basic and Secondary Education, she has campaigned for increased government spending on education, making clear that good quality basic education is a human right that facilitates economic growth and employment and enhances self-esteem and social justice.  In January 2012 at the mid-term review of the Gambian National Education Policy 2004 -2015, it was observed that Fatou Faye's Ministry had witnessed an increase in enrolments at all educational levels since 2005. This will empower future generations in The Gambia so they can pursue economic and social opportunities that will benefit not just themselves, but their communities and their country.  

As our alumna, Ms Faye has supported links with the University, underlining its 'significant contribution' to the socio-economic development of The Gambia.  We have had several Gambian government sponsored students over recent years, including three in the School of Education and Professional Development last year. Indeed, one of our earliest Gambian graduates, from 1970, Mr. Ebrahim Dondeh, who is Chair of the Alumni Society, is in the audience today to witness this event.  In the past year, the University has also welcomed research and development visits by the Gambian National Training Authority as well as by the Gambia Technical Training Institute. A highlight earlier this year was the launching in The Gambia of the University of Huddersfield’s Alumni Association and the appointment of Fatou Lamin Faye as the Honorary President of that group.  In her speech at the Association’s inaugural event in January, Ms Faye said her time studying at this University had accorded her the vision to appreciate what it takes to apply ‘transformational leadership’.  She also commented that the University of Huddersfield was an institution that offered opportunities for students to fulfil their academic potential and to pursue practical goals that enabled them to expand their horizons.  She herself represents an outstanding example of someone who, having fulfilled her academic potential, has pursued practical goals of national significance and provided transformational leadership. 

Fatou Lamin Faye's priorities in relation to the value of education as a human right, particularly in terms of addressing gender parity and social justice establish her as a person who has made an outstanding contribution at a national level, achieving great distinction in education and public life

* The Global Education Partnership was set up in October 2011 and is supported by multilateral organisations such as UNICEF, World Bank, UNESCO and country governments etc. to advance progress between 2011-2014 on the Millennium Development Goal of Education for All. 

Details of the Honorary Awards conferred at this weeks Awards Ceremonies can be found here.

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