A well known politician once said that "our progress as a nation can never be swifter than our progress in education". This philosophical acknowledgement of the role that education plays in the development of any country was not only a prophecy of political thought, but it was also an intricacy and an attempt to establish a relationship between education and the political, social and economic evolution of any modern country.
Over four decades after this philosophical reality was erotized, it seems to epitomize the current situation that The Gambia exactly finds itself. A small but great nation, the Gambia's development evolution undoubtedly depends on how far the country made progress in its education sector. If the economic and political winds of change areto blow in The Gambia, then education must be given a greater attention. This is especially so at the tertiary level.
It is a fact that those who refuse to drink from the fountain of knowledge will die of thirst in the desert of ignorance,that education is the key to the many doors of life has been amply demonstrated bythe University of The Gambia (UTG).
The impact of the university so far in the country has proven to all and sundry that its establishment was a step in the right direction. It has also ushered into the limelight the fact that a university in The Gambia should have been established decades ago.
Subsequently, the establishment of the Gambia Law School whose graduates have just been called to the Bar is yet another indication that our education sector is rapidly climbing the ladder of progress.What is even more impressive about the school is that, it conducts bar exams for its students on home soil.
We have already seen the impact of the doctors who were products of the medical school; products of the other schools are also contributing immensely to the socio-economic development of the country. With the law school, it is obvious that a Gambianised Judiciary is fast becoming a reality.
The call to the Bar of our home-trained lawyers wouldno doubt enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of our legal system as those who have just been called to serve can sustain the confidence of people in the the justice system.
Note that the value of tertiary education lies in the fact that, a student has the opportunity, intellectually and socially as a scholar and member of a community, to explore the world in all its dimensions, especially the world of the mind.While pursuing knowledge in a chosen field, appreciating the standards of study and judgment within this one field especially, the student can also become aware of the criteria of excellence in other areas.
This is what university education means and the UTG has not in any way fallen short in that respect, given the calibre of students it produces who are contributing to national development. The law school is therefore on that crusade.
Whilst we congratulate our new members of the learned profession, we are optimistic that they would join their colleagues in the quest for sustainable national development.