Monday, January 19, 2015

Gambia: Journalism School Graduate First Batch




Students pose to the cameras shortly before the opening ceremony (Photo Credit: Sang Mendy)

The Gambia Press Union (GPU) School of Journalism graduate its first batch of students who attained a higher diploma in journalism at a ceremony held at a local hotel in Kololi. 

Twelve students of the first nationally-recognised institution mandated to provide journalism education in the country, attained a higher diploma in journalism.

In March 2014, the school received accreditation from the National Training Authority under the framework of the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) in The Gambia.

“The school provides depth and scope, coherence and system, innovation and creativity in its curriculum, pedagogy and methodology, thus positioning itself as a model for journalism education in the country,” its Executive Director Gibairu Janneh said.

In his school report, Mr Janneh said the school naturally builds on a pedigree that follows a triple path: teaching journalism and media specialization along with general knowledge, analytical skills and English language skills.

'The Star' is produced by the Students (Photo Credit: M.S.Joof/TNBES)
On January 16, 2015 the students had the chance to showcase skills they acquired over two years of intensive learning in a form of radio interviews and news production, poetry rendition and a newspaper publication called ‘The Star’. 

Talibeh Hydara, the best student at the school, said in his valedictory statement that 12 of 20 students, who started the course in 2012, had kept a fighting spirit to the end of a rigorous academic challenge.

“We kept this spirit, not just because we wanted to, but because we had the best lecturers whose inputs were magnetic,” he said.

He added: “I do not even remember when I developed the passion to become a journalist. However, I do vividly recall seeking the advice and opinions of many people, but all I received was: ‘journalism is risky’; ‘journalists are paid pittance earnings’, etc. 

“I then realized that each time one begins to check the validity of one’s dreams with people, one gives a chance to the blighting of one’s dreams. My entire life thrives on hope and nothing else.”

The School’s head of English Language course, Sheriff Bojang, who set in motion the production of a newspaper and personally funded it, launched the ‘graduates’ newspaper, The Star.  

Mr. Bojang, now Minister of Information, explained that during the course he conducted newspaper reviews of all publications in The Gambia to pinpoint gaps where there is a need for improvement in terms of story presentation, house style and editing.

“This paper [The Star] which we are launching here today is as a result of those [class] exercises, entirely produced by the students,” he said. “I had no input on this paper and until this morning I did not even know the name of the newspaper.”


Written by Modou S. Joof




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