The evolvement of the IEC during the first quarter of the year 2015 shows growing interest and popularity of the Intensive English Course in The Gambia, alhamdulillah. Currently, the IEC has fourteen (14) existing classes conducted in various learning centers around The Gambia. Among these centers are: IOU Headquarters, Tallinding, Omar Bunjeng, Omar Quraish, Tadamun, Imam Malick, Sinchu Alagie and others. At the end of March 2015, two (2) new classes have been added at the Sinchu Alagie learning center, ma sha Allah. For the 2015-2016 academic year, three (3) more centers are scheduled to be added to the list of centers in The Gambia, in sha Allah. The growing popularity can be also seen on the number of students. Initially, the IEC began with only a handful of students; now, according to the class statistics report for 2014-2015, IEC has four hundred and fifty one (451) registered students. Ma sha Allah.
In sha Allah, the rest of the year of 2015 will also bring a lot of benefit and growth to the program as the IOU IEC team and MOBSE (Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education) are scheduled to meet. MOBSE is preparing to grant 200 scholarships to students to join the IEC program. Furthermore, additional 100 scholarships for the IOU BEd program should be granted to those students who graduated from the IEC in 2014. Thus, students from the madrasas, who initially had only Arabic background and studied English for 1 year only, will move directly to the university level where all programs are presented and taught in the English medium. This is an unprecedented event here in The Gambia and perhaps in other parts of the world as well.
IEC in Gambia
The Islamic Online University (IOU) has successfully run the Intensive English Course (IEC) in The Gambia since 2013. The program was initially launched with the first batch of 206 students. The first graduation ceremony for the first batch was held in January 2015 where 172 students have received their diplomas. In 2014, 450 students were enrolled in the IEC The Gambia program.
IEC in Somaliland
In 2014, IOU has introduced the IEC in Somaliland in collaboration with a number of schools and universities in different parts of Somaliland, such as the University Of Hargeisa, New Generation University, Edna Aden University, Nooradin Secondary School and 26 June Secondary School. The IEC program in Somaliland has been welcomed by both the public and private sectors with more than 1,500 students registered within the first two months.
IEC in Guinea-Bissau
Upon meeting with the new Minister of Education of Guinea-Bissau, it was agreed to use two major high schools for the pilot program: Samora Michel and Kwame Nkrummah. Each high school has over thousands of students. The Minister has also expressed the desire to commence teaching those who are in their last year of study.