By Ndey Sowe
Mr Babucarr Boye, the Minister of Public Service, Administrative Reform, Policy Coordination and Delivery, has said the Gambia needs an educational curriculum that will serve as a unique national identity for the country.
“We also need an educational curriculum that serves our unique national identity, culture, and developmental goals but also prepares the citizens to fit in the global village. Schools should have access to modern technology and the internet connecting our students to a world of information,” he said on Wednesday, August 30 during The Gambia Teachers Union (GTU) National Delegates Congress which is held every four years.
The congress was held on the theme: “Invest in Education for Quality Service Delivery,” at a local hotel in Senegambia. The congress gave members of GTU the opportunity to critically examine the activities of the union since the past executive came to power, allowing members to identify areas where they have done well and those they need to improve upon, debate the key issues affecting education and education workers in The Gambia, receive recommendations and pass resolutions with regard to improving the services being provided for them.
Minister Boye cited that the environment where teaching and learning take place significantly impacts the quality of education. By this, he means classes should be well-ventilated, equipped with the necessary tools for effective teaching and not crowded.
He added that it is crucial to update syllabuses to reflect realities in future aspirations. This way, he said, the youth can be equipped with the skills they require to participate meaningfully in national development, but at the same time be globally competitive.
Mr Ebrima Gaye, General Secretary of SUDES a sister union in Senegal, emphasised the need for investing in education as a strategic response to the country’s demographic dividend.
He added that an adequate budget will introduce principles of equality and equity in public finance management, enhancing the quality and impact of public spending. He renewed a stronger collaboration and partnership between Senegal and Gambia to advance both countries’ educational sectors.
Mr Ismaila S. Ceesay, President of GTU, said investing in teachers is imperative in education.
“Let the government invest immensely and reasonably in t teachers so that we can attain the quality education we are all yearning for. It is not the structures that are going to impact knowledge, but the one that is going to impact knowledge, the career of that particular knowledge is the teacher and that teacher needs to be highly motivated, ready to serve, and give what is in him or her without any condition,” Mr Ceesay stressed.
Mr Omar Ndure, a former President of GTU, commended the Union for coming up with the Ladies Society and the Young Teacher Platform. He said that wherever women lead, things progress as they provide direction to the youth.
Adama Jimba Jobe, Deputy Permanent Secretary at MoBSE, said as a union, the GTU should take a leading role in making decisions that will impact the teaching committee.
He stressed that the union should always foster peace in the minds of its members in the midst of crises, finding effective solutions to solve problems and bringing productive operations among the education family.
The Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment, Mr Baboucarr Ousmaila Joof, urged urged the president and the national executive of the GTU to get closer to the government, engage with them, and put their side of the story across the table.