January 27, 2021
By Bampia James Bundu: Strategic Communications Unit, Ministry of Information and Communications
The Deputy Minister of Information and Communications, Mamadi Gobeh-Kamara, has held a dialogue meeting with the Students Union Government of Njala University, Njala Campus.
In her remarks, Madam Mamadi Gobeh-Kamara emphasised that education is on top of President Bio’s manifesto promises and that government has allocated 22% of its budget to education so as to ensure that the free quality education is achieved.
She added that students involved in Student Union (SU) politics have huge roles and responsibilities to play in setting the bar and standards high for others to emulate.
She commended the cross section of the student union government for visiting her amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and pointed out that she was also once a student and therefore knows exactly what it looks like to occupy such an enviable position in the university and the expectations from other students on campus.
The Deputy Minister urged the executive to put together their priority needs and submit them to the Ministry, pledging to look into them and that where deemed necessary for her ministry to intervene they will do so.
Madam Gobeh-Kamara informed that this government has scored remarkable success in internet penetration from 6% to 8% in less than three years. “We are not there yet but we continue to work assiduously to ensure that we make more gains in that area. Regarding internet connectivity, I will engage the Director of Communications to ascertain the reality on the ground in Njala. Once that is done I will revert to you,” she promised.
She explained in detail her responsibilities as Deputy Minister, the functions of the ministry, what the ministry can offer to universities and what they have done over the years in making information accessible to members of the public nationwide.
The Vice President of the Njala University Student Union Government, Njala Campus, Marvel Emmanuel Karimu, expressed thanks and appreciation to the Deputy Minister for consenting to meet with them at very short notice.
He said they were at the ministry to acquaint themselves with the ministry and see how best they can partner in working towards achieving their desired goals on campus.
He explained that they were challenged in the area of information gathering and dissemination, adding that they would be grateful if the minister would accept their invitation to deliver a public lecture on Media Ethics with specific focus on social media.
“As a government we don’t want to see students take to the streets and demonstrate. We believe in dialogue and engaging authorities so that we can seek opportunities for our university and students,” he said.
He furthered that they are faced with series of challenges especially access to internet connectivity on campus. “Students hardly access the ICT lab due to poor seating accommodation, lack of computers and internet access.”
He went on: “As a government on campus, we have our own minister and deputy ministers of information. Your support and partnership will help our government achieve some of our manifesto promises made during our campaign”.
Karimu assured the Deputy Minister that they will go back and catalogue their needs and submit them to the ministry in order for it to see how best it can help address them.