By Abdou Mbye
Information Officer Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education MoBSE
The Minister of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE), Hon. Claudiana A. Cole on Monday, 25 September visited four schools in Region One to gauge the learning conditions of students as well as the availability of learning resources in the quest to provide quality education and proffer solutions to the challenges faced by the sector.
Her first point of call was Albion Lower Basic School in Banjul, where she underscored the need for the commencement of active learning on the first day of school opening. Addressing the school’s management, she stressed that early commencement of learning enhances syllabus coverage by the end of the academic year as well as facilitates achieving the 880 contact hours within the year.
Minister Cole and her entourage proceeded to Muhammedan Lower Basic School to inspect the preparation stage for the new academic year. The Head Teacher of the school, Madam Rohey Jobe Sillah expressed her appreciation for the Minister’s visit, saying that the school had adequate classrooms to accommodate the students and the attendance for teachers and students was encouraging. However, Madam Jobe stated that two more classrooms are supposed to be renovated to provide more space for conducive learning.
Meanwhile, the minister continued the tour at Tallinding Upper Basic and the newly upgraded Senior Secondary School at the same venue. Reiterating the concern for learning to commence in earnest, she called on school managers to endeavour to make their necessary preparations during holidays and not to wait for schools to open.
Finally, the delegation wrapped up the day’s engagement at Latrikunda Yirringanya ECD and Lower Basic School with the minister thrilled with the new fourteen classroom blocks sponsored by MRC Holland Foundation for the ECD and grade ones. This, Minister Cole said, would enhance a conducive learning environment for the children, thereby fostering quality and relevant education.
Speaking to the media at the end of the day’s engagement, Honorable Cole posited that the enhancement of quality education is shouldered on both teachers and parents and called for active participation of PTAs and SMCs at the community level.
“Our school committees like the PTA and SMC need to do better. In some schools I visited, I did not think my PTAs and SMCs were extremely supportive. I would not say that they have not been supporting, but I guess they need to buckle up and redouble their efforts to support the schools. I called on parents to visit and support the schools because the school management cannot do it alone,” Hon. Cole emphasized.
As the Ministry responsible for providing Basic and Secondary education in the country, it is paramount for the minister to reach out to schools to see what is happening and how students are faring in their academic studies.