By Ndey Sowe
Mr Ismaila S. Ceesay, the President of the Gambia Teachers Union (GTU) has called on the Government of The Gambia to establish an education service commission now as well as put an end to the decline in the number of teachers.
Cessay said the government should take measures to retain quality teachers in the teaching fraternity by putting an Education Service Commission that will look into the welfare of teachers, educators, and all those who are concerned with business education provision in the country.
Mr Ceesay made the call on Thursday, October 5 as part of activities marking World Teachers’ Day 2023 under the theme: “The Teachers We Need for the Education We Want: Establish an Education Service Commission Now!”
The celebration was held at Paradise Suites Hotel. Alongside the celebration, the union launched supplementary reading books authored by some Gambian teachers. The book launch is a culmination of a book writing project funded by Education International and implemented by the Gambia Teachers’ Union.
According to UNESCO however, the world faces an unprecedented global teacher shortage exacerbated by a decline in conditions and status. As a result, this year 2023, World Teachers Day has put the importance of a dignified and valued teaching profession at the top of the global agenda.
“The Education Sector needs teachers who are well-trained, supported, and valued to guarantee quality education for all Gambians and raising the national drive for education to meet the targets of the 2030 Agenda. For this reason, our union wants to indulge not only the Gambia Government but all partners in the business of education to support our teachers and students,” Mr Ceesay emphasised.
Marie Antoinette Corr, General Secretary of Gambia Teachers Union (GTU) said the day is important as they come together to express their gratitude and admiration for the teachers who have shaped lives, enlightened minds, and inspired hearts.
“This is a day to show teacher appreciation. It also provides an opportunity to consider issues related to teachers and the teaching profession and urges advocates from all around the world to seek ways of finding solutions to these problems”, MrsCorr added. On this day it is important to remember that teaching is a passion rather than only a job.
Mr KejawTouray, Chairman Namie Foundation Teacher Award Selection Committee said teachers are a beacon of hope and a guiding light in the journey of learning, and a source of inspiration to all.
“The Namie Foundation Gambia Teachers Prize is a testament to our belief that teachers deserve recognition not only for their hard work but also for their role in shaping the future”, MrTouray highlighted, adding that this award is a symbol of our commitment to enhancing the teaching profession in The Gambia and to providing educators with the support and resources they need to continue their vital work.
Mr AdamaJimmbaJobe, Deputy Permanent Secretary MoBSE, stated that teachers being at the heart of education delivery have impacted knowledge to diverse members of society and instilled valuable life lessons that would stay with all forever.
While stressing that teaching is challenging and demands a lot of patience, dedication, and hard work, MrJobe said teachers have constantly encouraged society to pursue their passion and never give up on their dreams.
“You deserve recognition for all the sacrifices that you have made. You are more than a provider of knowledge or guidance to us all. I therefore thank you for your selfless service”, MrJobe encouraged teachers.
World Teachers’ Day is an international day held annually on 5 October to celebrate the work of teachers. Established in 1994, it commemorates the signing of recommendations by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
The 1966 ILO/UNESCO Recommendation concerning the Status of Teachers is a standard-setting instrument that addresses the status and situations of teachers around the world. This recommendation outlines standards relating to education personnel policy, recruitment, and initial training as well as the continuing education of teachers, their employment, and working conditions.
World Teachers’ Day aims to focus on “appreciating, assessing and improving the educators of the world” and to provide an opportunity to consider issues related to teachers and teaching.