The Assessment and Certification Unit of the National Training Authority (NTA) yesterday began a five-day training programme of assessors on Practicing Assessor Certificate 1 (PAC1) for the lecturers of the Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI).

The programme, which was meant to train them on Practising Assessors Certificate 1, was held at the GTTI hall in Kanifing. 

In his opening remarks, the principal Higher Education officer, Antony Mendy, who deputised for the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Higher Education Research Science and Technology,  said that the training that’s specifically on the instruments of the Practising Assessor Certificate 1, was meant to give participants an insight into the verification guides code of conduct.

According to him, their role as moderators is crucial to the continuous implementation of the component of the Gambia Skill Qualifications Framework regarded as one of the African’s best policy document for bringing the best practices for quality assurance processes and procedures.

The component of the local assessment and certification, he said, is still hard sell posing serious challenges, impressive figures of assessed and certified candidates in various fields, such as electrical installation, building construction, motor mechanics, plumbing and gas fitting, fishing, agriculture, among others.

Mendy however urged all the participants to continue recognising the importance of this training.   

Edrissa Colley, programme officer, in charge of the training described the training as a very important exercise as it deals with skills training for lecturers. He noted that they will do all what they can to ensure that they put them through this exercise so that they will do justice when it comes to the implementation of this programme.

According to him, this programme qualification is assessment and competent-based which cannot be done without proper assessment tribute.

Colley said that the National Training Authority cannot do it all alone, as they need other people who are going to do the implementation. He affirmed that it is also important to have the lecturers as their partners so that people can be assessed to get the competence to be able to deliver. 

The NTA Assessment and Certification specialist, Lamin B Manneh said that this is an ongoing process in their unit for the implementation process of the Gambia’s skill qualification programme. 

He stated that without having assessors they cannot expand on the programme, saying that before any institution runs the Gambia skills qualification there should be assessors available in the centre, in order to be able to coat the assessment process.

“This is why every year before we move the programme to any new centre; we have to select the lectures that have to deal with the relevant fields to train them to become NTA trained assessors. After this assessor-training what they have to do is to register in their authority to get the licence to operate as an assessor,” Manneh said. 

The NTA Assessment and Certification specialist hinted that the participants’ role as an assessor is to be able to conduct what they called a ‘competency based assessment’. From here, they will be able to elicit the set of skills that the candidates have and also what they are looking for, in order to be able to fit into the industrial system of the country.

Manneh went on to say that in this programme, if the participants declared competence he or she will go to a verification test, by a specialist in the same field, who will then confirm to them the competency of the participants, so as to get the Gambia Skill Qualification Certificate, which is recognised internationally.