Teachers believe intro of local languages at Assembly will create tribalism

Thursday, December 20, 2018

As the ongoing public consultation of the Constitution Review Commission continues in the Fonis, West Coast Region, teachers of Somita Upper and Senior Secondary School have suggested that local languages should not be used by lawmakers at the National Assembly, as it would create tribalism in the house.

“English language is the official language, thus it should be the only language that should be used in the parliament. There will be some parliamentarians that cannot speak Fula, Mandinka, and Wollof and other local languages. Therefore, in order to enable them participate in the proceedings at the parliament, English language must be used,” said one Moro Kuyateh.

He said for one to become a president, he/she should be a degree holder. Kuyateh added that death penalty should be abolished from the constitution. “If you kill someone even internationally you should not be killed. He should be sentenced to life imprisonment and should not be pardoned by any president.”

Teachers’ Service Commission (TSC), he went on, should be established as teachers are encountering lot of problems. “The TSC will address some of the challenges teachers are encountering particularly in terms of appointments and conformations.”

Jainaba Gaye also from Somita Upper and Senior Secondary School believed that local languages should not be used at National Assembly. “NAMs should go back to their respective communities and explain to them some of the proceedings going on at the parliament if they want their people to understand. “If I speak Fula at the Assembly, maybe others will not understand what I am saying. Therefore, everybody would like his or her language be used there.”

Peter Gomez, also a teacher of the same school opined that public servants found guilty of corruption should be banned from holding public office for life, adding that it’s the only way “we can keep aside corruption in the country.” He suggested this should be included in the new constitution.

“Corruption has ravaged our lives and I‘m with the opinion that we have corrupt official who divert public funds for their personal use. Therefore, in order to stop it, anyone found wanting should be banned for life,” he emphasised.

The Bwiam Meeting

At Bwiam in Foni Kansala District, one Bakary Bojang, of Kurunulie village suggested that there should be no term limit for president and that single majority should system be maintained in the constitution.

“The benefits of the president should continue even after the individual leaves office, and that ‘vote of confidence’ should be removed because it can create problems.”

The councilor of Bwiam Ward, Ensa Bojang, said the president should not have the power to remove elected councilors, arguing that he/she is elected by the people. “The payment for councilors should be critically looked into because you can work for 100 years without having anything.”

Author: Momodou Jawo