By Nelson Manneh
Essa Sowe, the Deputy General Secretary of the Gambia Teachers Union (GTU), said the Government of The Gambia is complying with their demands as they commenced paying the COVID-19 allowance dues to their teachers. Mr. Sowe said the COVID-19 allowance is not meant for every teacher.
“The COVID-19 allowance is not meant for every single teacher in the country, the allowance is meant for those teachers who were teaching for six days and those who were teaching extra hours than their normal contact hours,” he said.
Sowe said if the allowance was meant for all teachers across the country the security, cluster monitors, and other auxiliary staff would have been included. But, he said, because it was meant for teachers who were teaching for six days and for those teaching extra hours, they removed the names of all the auxiliary staff.
GTU Deputy General Secretary said they have engaged the government several times before the teachers embarked on the strike.
“There is a system in place. We know that the government is complying but the Executive needs to meet and see whether teachers should go back to school or not,” he said.
This reporter again visited some public schools within Kanifing Municipality and found out that teachers are still complying with the order given by their union that they should put down their teaching tools till further notice.
Readers could recall that the secretary of GTU on Sunday, February 13, 2022, issued a statement urging teachers in public schools across the country to put their teaching tools down till further notice.
The union said the strike was as a result of the unpaid COVID-19 Allowance dues to a cohort of teachers.
“After a thorough review of the progress so far gained by closing of business on Friday 11th February 2022, the Union found out that teachers in Region 3 are still not paid. Also, a good number of teachers in Region one, including all the senior secondary schools and region two are still left out. In view of the aforementioned, the National Executive Committee held another emergency meeting on Saturday 12th February 2022 and passed a resolution that: Teachers in all public schools across the country should put their tools down until advised otherwise,” the GTU statement indicated.