Professor Cherno Omar Barry, Vice Chancellor of the International Open University has presented the recently conferred Doctorate Degree Honoris Causa to President Adama Barrow at State House on Thursday, 20 April 2023.
According to a statement made available, the Gambian leader was conferred the award of a Doctorate Degree Honoris Causa by the International Open University in recognition of his distinguished services for the promotion of education, particularly to decentralising higher education and TVET at the IOU ninth Convocation ceremony held on 28 February 2023.
The statement noted that unfortunately, the Gambian leader was unable to attend but was well represented by the Minister of Public Service, Honourable Babucarr Bouy.
“The IOU recognises President Adama Barrow’s policies that have resulted in tremendous strides in the education sector in The Gambia, from increasing access to secondary education to increasing the budget to accommodate marginalized students, particularly in rural Gambia.
President Barrow introduced various initiatives, including launching the National Islamic Education Strategy in July 2019. The strategy focuses on providing access to quality Quranic and Islamic education to all Gambians, regardless of their gender, social background, or income level. The policies aim to improve the management of madrassas, build up the skills of teachers and administrators, and ensure that all madrassas have access to adequate resources, such as textbooks and other learning tools. President Barrow has also increased government funding for madrassas by allocating funds to help build new schools, pay teachers’ salaries, and give textbooks and other school supplies,” the statement said.
“The International Open University is the first of its kind in The Gambia, as it is the only university that provides online education to Gambian citizens and residents around the country. In response to President Barrow’s vision for every Gambian eligible for university education, especially the underprivileged, being accorded the opportunity to access quality higher education, the Founder-Chancellor of the International Open University, Prof Dr. Bilal Philips, recently offered 1,000 scholarships dedicated to His Excellency.
The Doctor of Philosophy Honoris Causa awarded by the IOU commemorates President Barrow’s commitment to education to herald a new wave of well-educated, highly skilled workers that will help usher in a new Gambia that is prosperous and progressive.
Following the brief robbing ceremony, Professor Barry emphasized the need to partner with the Government to ensure every deserving Gambian gets a chance to post-secondary education in an affordable, accessible, and flexible way. He is convinced that the role of the IOU is very significant in that regard,” the statement concluded.