programme lead for Climate Justice and acting programme manager at Action Aid
International The Gambia has called on parents and relevant stakeholders to do
more to enroll their children in schools.
Mr Foday Kanyi was speaking recently at Bakalarr, Upper Niumi, North Bank Region (NBR) where Action Aid celebrated the Day of the African Child. The celebration was held on the theme: “Humanitarian Action in Africa Children’s Right First.”
The Day of the African Child is commemorated annually to remember and show solidarity with the slain students in South Africa who were demonstrating for their rights during that country’s apartheid era.
“When many African children are out of school and lack the knowledge, there would be more problems in our society. And solution to this would be to send our children to schools. I’m quite certain that through education our society can wipe out poverty,” Mr. Kanyi revealed.
He further indicated that there are several factors why certain children aren’t going to school such as distance, early marriage, etc.
Kanyi noted that more efforts needed to be exerted so that a considerable number of children out of school in our society can attain basic primary education.
Mr. Basiru Mbenga, Director, Regional Education Directorate, NBR stated that education is a right for us to be educated as human beings, adding that its also important to celebrate children and their talents.
He further renewed his ministry’s readiness in achieving ‘quality education’ in schools.
Mr. Mbenga also commended Action Aid-The Gambia for what he referred to as ‘brilliant initiative’ in sponsoring and celebrating the African Child Day in his region.
For her part, Madam Musu Kebba Jarjue, headmistress of Bakalarr Lower Basic School, reminded the gathering that children are the future leaders, hence the need to prepare them well for the future. She also praised ActionAid International for leading the crusade in advocating for children’s rights to education in forums like this one.
Ebrima Darboe, a representative of the grand marabout of Medina Sidia said Gambian society needs a ‘behavioral change’, noting that ‘if the system didn’t change we would not make any headway in achieving quality education’.
He thus called on the government to take charge of their cardinal responsibility in ensuring that children go to school and be educated.
“I want the central government to use taxpayers’ money for projects such as maintenance of roads and provisions of water among others,” he appealed.