Basic and Secondary Education minister said girls’ enrollment in schools is no
longer an issue in the country, saying the country has reached parity in
enrollment since 2005.
At the 9th general assembly of the Forum for African Women Educationists-The Gambian (FAWEGAM) at region one education office in Kanifing, Claudiana Cole said the concern today ranges from quality education, performance and retention of girls in school. “We are concern about girls not attending universities, colleges or any other tertiary institutions after completing secondary school,” she said.
Minister Cole noted that they are more concern about why girls are not taking up Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) subjects and girls who are not allowed to complete their education by marrying them off before they are even ready to become wives and mothers. “We are very concerned about peer pressure for girls these days.”
She said FAWEGAM would like to see women and girls in leadership positions in their homes, schools and communities and as role models for girls.
According to her, FAWEGAM was one of the leading organizations that took part in the campaign to end child marriage and FGM, saying child marriage and FGM Act were passed into law in 2016.
Chairperson of FAWEGAM, Beatrise Mboge said they are one of the leading institutions in Africa addressing girls’ education.
She said with support from the FAWE regional secretariat in 2016, FAWEGAM was able to hire the service of a consultant to develop a five years strategic plan 2016-2020.
Commenting on their challenges, the FAWEGAM chairperson noted that funding for programs and of the secretariat continues to be a challenge with limited funding opportunities and competition for the limited resources like transportation among host of others.
On the way forward, Mboge said putting in place an executive committee that has the expertise to support fund raising through proposal writing and programming and also setting up technical committees to assist the secretariat.