The Vice Chancellor of the University of The Gambia, Professor Faqir Muhammad Anjum, made these revelations during the opening ceremony of a daylong validation workshop on the teaching of national languages at the University.
“The department will give students the opportunity to explore their languages in Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, Semantics, but also in Sociolinguistics, language distribution, classification, dialectology, etc,” prof Anjum said.
He added that the introduction of Gambian languages, as a general requirement, in the university is a clear testimony of the commitment to the development and revival of Gambian cultures, which should be at the heart of the country’s development agenda.
Honorable Sedia Jatta, the National Assembly Member for Wuli West and a linguistic specialist, said he was looking forward to a day like this, as he expressed his delight over this development at the UTG.
“Denying your language means denying your identity because language is embedded in the culture of a people,” says Hon. Jatta.“We have to sacrifice to be the catalyst for a positive change”.
Professor Pierre Gomez, Ag. Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) on his part, said this is part of a wider programme leading up to teaching and research on national languages at the UTG. “In many universities around the world, Wolof, Fula, Mandinka and many more are being taught there but why can’t we do the same here?”, the professor asked.
Other speakers at the ceremony including the Ag. Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences, Dr. Abdul Karim Kamara acknowledged that the process is not going to be an easy journey yet he explained that they are “determined to take on this challenge”.