More than 200 madrasa graduates have been interviewed on Monday for scholarships by the Islamic Online University (IOU) and the AMANA, an institution that runs an Arabic and Islamic education in The Gambia.
The scholarship package, which is to be provided by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, was announced in January 2015.
On March 23, the IOU announced that the qualified candidates are expected to undergo an Intensive English Course (IEC) for a year before pursuing a bachelor’s degree in education (B.Ed.) – both courses are to be provided by the IOU.
It said the students receiving the scholarships are expected to return to Madrasa schools to help improve the quality of Arabic or Islamic education.
“This is why the beneficiaries will be bonded upon receiving the scholarship package,” Ousainou Allen, IOU country representative in Gambia said. “It will be the same bond requirement of the ministry of basic and secondary education, because they are providing the scholarships. We want them to go back and teach in madrasas.”
The IOU has said a follow-up interview will be conducted during which the details of the course and expectations will be explained.
Mamat Mbowe, an English language coordinator at AMANA, said the current scholarship package is very important because it will benefit the madrasa graduates.
“They will be bilingual and increase the standards of their education thanks to the ministry of basic and secondary education,” he said.
The IOU said it completed its first phase of the IEC project last year. It was conducted in partnership with the Ministry and AMANA. It said the decided to extend the project based on the reflective results, and increased the scholarships from 100 to 200.