Adelaide Sosseh, has said education is fundamental to development and growth.
She opined that it is in the human mind that all development achievements are crystallized from developments in education, health, and agriculture.
She was speaking recently as a guest speaker on the Gam Africa Institute for Leadership (GAIL) second debate championship quarter-finals for Schools within the greater Banjul area.
The debate championship is a six months project for senior secondary schools and will run from June to September 2019. The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) initiative aims to enable students to discover and utilize their potentials in public speaking.
"Education is a human right", she said, adding like other human rights, it must be respected, protected and fulfilled.
She added, the National Human Development Report, 2001, perceives education as one of the most important means to improve personal endowments, build capacities, to overcome constraints.
"The formal education system tends to emphasize the acquisition of knowledge to the detriment of other types of learning, but it is vital now to conceive education in a more encompassing fashion", she stated.
Furthermore, Adelaide said formal education should be considered as other forms of learning and given the prominence that it deserves.
"This vision of education should inform and guide future educational reforms and policy," she said.
Meanwhile, she said the expansion of fundamental human rights, freedoms, and capabilities envisaged under the human development approach are limited for many young people in The Gambia, which she said made them unable to lead lives they value and have reason to value.
"The freedom and capabilities that enable people to lead a meaningful life that goes beyond the satisfaction of essential needs are lacking", she noted.
She said the process of human development should at least create an environment for people, individually and collectively, to be able to develop to their full potential and to have a reasonable chance of leading productive and creative lives that they value.
"Even though the government of The Gambia is committed to providing 'Accessible, Equitable and Inclusive Quality Education for all by 2030", she said, this remains a dream for many Gambians.
She noted that out-of-school incidence varies largely across regions and districts. She further said out of 330,749 primary school-age children, 100,000 were out of school in 2015 and 95 percent of those have never attended.
"The greatest incidence of out-of-school children is in regions 5 and 6", she said.