The Architectural Students Association of The Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI) recently organised their second annual architectural and art exhibition designed to showcase their skills or talents in the field of construction. Organised at the Construction Department's main hall at the Institute's campus in Jeshwang, the initiative accorded the students the opportunity to impress the audience with theirconstruction skills.
Speaking at the talent show, the minister of Youth and Sports, Alieu Kebba Jammeh, thanked the architectural students for their commitment to learning, describing construction as a lucrative venture. Jammeh posited that the government under the current leadership has provided the enabling environment for young people to excel in whatever they do.
While stating that he was honoured to be part of the exhibition, the Youth and Sports minister assured that the governmentwill continue to give high priority to the cause of young people, especially in enhancing talents and skills for self-employment purposes.
Speaking earlier, the head of Architectural Draughtsmanship Section at the Institute, Aminata Hydara took the gathering downmemory lane, explaining that the GTTI is a technicians' training institute, which commenced operations in January 1983. Hydara said the Institute offers various middle level manpower courses in construction, engineering, computer, business studies and so on.
"Over the past years, the Institute has supplied the construction industry in The Gambia with other major building trades' technicians except the draughtsman. With the realisation of the current emphasis in architectural education, it was thought necessary that the architectural draughtsmanship programme be commenced at the Institute," she further stated.
Hydara said in developing the students' creative abilities and understanding, the primary emphasis of this course is building technology and the communication of the design and production information. She explained that the course prepares the student to operate as an independent practitioner as well as to work as a member of a team.
"The graduate will be qualified to work within an organisation on both the design and sides of the industry," she stressed. She further stressed that among other objectives or aims of the course is to help in preparing the student for a particular vocational role and at the same time lay the foundation for cultivating the abilities for a higher level of studies.
The Institute's Architectural Draughtsmanship Section head went on to qualify the abilities of the students as "very good" since most of them have a good background in technical drawing, building drawing, woodwork, arts and craft and so on at their various secondary schools.
"Some are artistes and have a lot of experiences when it comes to drawing and designing. Others are not good in designing and drawing but are fast learners, while others are not fast learners but very determined and hardworking," she indicated.
Also speaking at the occasion, a US Peace Corps, Kris Powers known by her Gambian name Amie Ceesay, said the students have done an outstanding job and have worked long and hard hours preparing for the event. Powers, a lecturer at the Institute, explained that the architectural draughtmanship programme is a two-year course which includes a wide range of classes. She also congratulated the students for their success.
The executive secretary of the National Youth Council, Marcel Mendy, for his part, equally thanked the architectural students for the exhibition, while encouraging them to remain steadfast. Mendy said the development of any nation cannot be achieved in the absence of young people, hence he urged them to make best use of the enabling environment created by the government of the day.