By Theresa Kef Sesay
The UNDP has continued its support on capacity building to Parliament in a resident workshop at The Place, Tokeh Beach Resort, spanning 23, and 27-29 June 2021. This came in the wake of a validation exercise that took place at the Brookfields Hotel of the maiden curriculum of the Centre for Research for Parliamentary Studies.
Gilbert N’habay, Deputy Director, Centre for Research and Parliamentary Studies (CRPS), in welcoming participants said it is a training of trainers workshop to achieve specific outcomes including firming up the curriculum, development of training manuals and identification of potential facilitators to kick-off the Centre.
Director of Centre for Research and Parliamentary Studies, Mohamed Alpha Jalloh spoke on valuable inputs by participants during the continued validation process, identification of potential facilitators and the development of manuals to be supported by the European Union (EU). He noted, however, that the Centre is starting slowly, but firmly and that facilitators would constitute the future and history of CRPS.
Hon. Dr. Paran Umar Tarawally, Clerk of Parliament, declaring the workshop open, recognized the consultants as great purveyors of knowledge saying the day marked a significant milestone in the history of Parliament.
Following a review on parliamentary administration in May 2018, the Clerk of Parliament recalled how a vision was carved out for the setting up of a Centre for Research and Parliamentary Studies. The outcome of the said review resulted in the creation of a Centre to codify and strengthen capacity building in Parliament. He said the main aim is to create a corporate parliament by bringing the private sector into parliamentary administration, thus, the need to incorporate a corporate spectacle in running the affairs of Parliament.
Speaking on the need for including parliamentary studies in schools curriculum, the Clerk noted that colleges and universities are not offering specific courses on parliamentary studies and the need to roll out parliamentary studies.
The Hon. Clerk categorically stated that, he wants a curriculum that is 100 percent Parliament. To couch a curriculum that is specifically on Parliament and Parliament alone, he emphasized and added that other courses would be read in universities and colleges.
He further stated that, the creation and rolling out of a curriculum should be 100 percent focused on Parliament in respect of its administration.
He said EU had agreed to support the development of contents before training manuals.
Likened it to the Kenya model, the Clerk of Parliament said the Centre would deliver professionally certified programmes with linkages. It is intended to assist MPs to earn degrees from entry to exit Parliament through paid up and examinable courses, seminars, presentations, and workshops to be delivered by the universities in the Centre by accredited certificates.
He ended by thanking UNDP, Consultants and Staff for supporting the Centre and wished to see a galaxy of competent trainers to run the CRPS.