Monday, June 10, 2019

Teacher motivation must be given high priority in achieving education goals

Mr. President, we wish to take this opportunity to wish you, your family and the entire government a belated happy Eid, and pray that Allah answers all our prayers.

Mr. President, The role of teachers should be recognized as one of the many pillars of a sound and progressive society. There cannot be any quality education without competent and motivated teachers.

Last week, a group of teachers at Njaba Kunda Upper Basic and Senior Secondary School in the North Bank Region burnt tree branches in front of the school, demanding their salary arrears for three months be paid.

Mr. President, the future of every society lies in the education and health of its children. Thus, the sustainable development of any nation, and certainly of The Gambia, must be conceived and fueled by the unparalleled commitment of the government/ leadership to provide accessible, affordable and quality education.

There are several reasons why motivation of teachers is very important:  it allows the administration to meet the schools’ goals, mission, vision and objectives.

We believe that if teachers are well motivated, it can lead to increased productivity and allow schools to achieve higher levels of output.

Mr. President, it’s high time for the government to consider the needs of teachers. For teachers to stay for a period of three months without being paid salaries is totally unacceptable.

Majority of trained teachers are quitting the teaching field undesirably because of the harsh and stressful conditions they grapple with.

Mr. President, in order to encourage teachers to remain in the teaching field and give their best, the government needs to prioritise their issues and in fact, increase their salaries and allowances.

However, it was good to learn that the teachers in question have received their three months’ salaries after the protests.

Mr. President as we told you last week, the government needs to graduate from the habit of addressing issues whenever they occur. Rather, government needs to be proactive in addressing them earlier.

The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education and The Gambia Teacher’s Union should have addressed these issues before it gets to such a point, rather than waiting till it gets out of hand.

On Harouna Jatta’s death

Mr. President, it was exactly this month in 2017 that, Haruna Jatta, 54, was reportedly shot dead by members of the ECOMIG that stationed in Kanilai, the home village of former President Jammeh.

Until today, no investigation report has been revealed in connection with the matter.

Last year, the Police stated that an investigation into the death of Haruna Jatta was conducted and that the file was sent to the AG’s Chambers for advice. Surprisingly, the AG Chambers through the Minister of Justice, denied receiving an investigation report in connection with the late Mr. Jatta’s death.

Your government therefore needs to do everything possible in ensuring that the investigation report is out if there was any.

The OIC Summit in Banjul

Finally, Mr. President, the report about Gambia hosting the OIC Summit in 2022 is a welcome development after we failed to host the 2019 summit.

Your government needs to focus in ensuring that the country hosts the event as we have almost three years to go. The Gambia cannot afford to fail in hosting the event come 2022.

Therefore, at the moment you need to focus more on bringing rapid infrastructural development ahead of the most-anticipated event rather than being involved in politics.

Good Day, Mr. President!