For All Campaign Network (EFANet) The Gambia, in solidarity with the global
education community Tuesday commemorated Global Action Week for Education (GAWE
2019) on the theme: Making the right to an inclusive, equitable, quality, free
public education a reality: My education, my rights.
The GAWE is commemorated every year to remind world leaders of the promises they made in the Dakar Framework for Action in the year 2000 to meet the Education For All (EFA) goals. This year’s “Bantaba” was held in Kerewan, North Bank Region.
The theme calls for support in the implementation of the full Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4 and the slogan; my education, my right is framed within the SDG 4 targets and focusing on claiming the rights to education.
Bakary Badjie, board chairman of EFANet said this year’s overarching themes and slogans is to intensify the effort of citizens and civil societies to judiciously hold governments and international community accountable in delivering SDG-4 agenda on quality, inclusive and public transformative education as a UN global commitment.
Mr. Badjie added that EFANet as a civil society coalition is aware of the provisions and sustainable promotion of inclusive and public transformative education as an integral part and enabler of the 2030 sustainable development goals. “EFANet is fully committed to recognise and promote access to inclusive quality education as an important tool in partnership with government through MOBSE, MOHERST, and other partners to attain other sustainable development goals and empower those who are left behind in accessing education”, he stated.
Ebrima Dampha, Governor of NBR said education is key to national development, saying it is the best weapon to self-development.
Modou Jagne from the Ministry of Women Affairs said major progress has been made towards increasing access to education at all levels and increasing enrollment rates in schools particularly for women and girls. “Basic literacy skills have improved tremendously, yet bolder efforts are needed to make even greater strides for achieving universal education goals.”
He said Gambia is one of the countries that attained gender parity at basic level, registering an increase in the Gross Enrollment Rate (GER) for girls from 89.1% in 2010 to 98.7% in 2017 and boys is 95.4%. “The reason for slow progress in the attainment of quality education are due to inadequate trained teachers, poor conditions of schools and equity issues related to opportunities provided to rural children,” he said.
Mamsamba Joof, executive director of ADWAC said education reduce poverty, decrease social inequalities, empower women and help individuals to reach their full potential.
Mr Joof challenged government and stakeholders not only to commit to free education to all but to ensure that such commitment and promises are backed by real and serious actions to eliminate illiteracy in the country by providing enabling environment and equal opportunity to all children without exception.