Ebrahim Nyass alias Aji Macca, a Senegambian cultural ambassador has urged The Gambia government to address the aspiration of the people, saying it’s the responsibility of any government around the world to stand by the needs of its citizens.
In an interview with The Point, Mr. Nyass added that any government that cannot address the aspirations of the people, especially the youths, isn’t worth its price. He said the leaders asked people to vote for them in order to create employment for the youths, cure the sick, advance the educational sector and create Skill Centres for the youth.
Mr. Nyass emphasised that in some European countries, if they know a person is not good at academia, they help them do an apprenticeship that can help in securing a profession that would help in nation building.
“I can recall during Jawara’s time, after school, people used to enroll in the GTTI and National Vocational Centre in Banjul to learn skills. Many people have passed through that and got their own skills in welding, auto mechanics, and others. The number of young people graduating from our schools expect to get jobs after all but no space for them. The private sector should be empowered to create more firms in order to avoid absurd employment.”
Dwelling on Culture, Nyass said culture plays an important role in any nation’s development. He advised the government to create a Ministry of Culture that would stand alone and have all that it needs in order to run the affairs of culture.
“Culture is a large sector and is not only about music. In music, about 20 people work in one band and I think the government should open schools to train the youth on instruments. We can even include it in our school curriculum activities. A country like England don’t joke with their culture because arts and culture is the backbone of how to nurture the youths to understand the path of their ancestors.”
On education, he buttressed that “we have the University and other institutions to teach the youths,” adding there are lots of graduates in law every year and it appears the country is in a state of litigation.
“Where are the doctors, nurses and engineers? Those are the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and need to be included in our curriculum because the generation is now controlled by technology. It is better to embrace it now or never.”
He called on the government to harness technology and artificial intelligence, while recalling that the educational system during Jawara was paying dividends “because as of now, there are students who completed senior school and cannot construct a proper sentence.”
“There are monies spent in other sectors that fit the education sector more. Health insurance should be introduced and training for both nurses and other health care workers.”
He said rent is now costly and there should be legislation to control rent prices in order to make it reasonable for the public. Nyass reiterated that elders who know the past should be recognised because they contributed a lot to the country.