is disheartening to know that the staff of the Gambia College, the biggest
source of human capital for the education sector, are the least paid when
compared to staff of other public tertiary institutions in the country.
Despite the role of the college in training and producing specialist teachers for the country, it has been operating in a near-neglected situation over the years.
The Gambia College used to be a vibrant trainer of teachers, public health workers, and agriculturists and has been doing so for decades – as way back as pre-independence.
Since independence towards the 80s and 90s, the institution enjoyed commensurable government subvention and support alongside the support of World Bank. However, it is today crying to be saved as it struggles to meet it needs and to provide services.
We understood that the former government at some point used to interfere in the running of the institution by firing capable administrative staff and lecturers due to political and other reasons.
With the amalgamation of the college and other tertiary institutions with the University of The Gambia, the college even had a more daunting task in sharing its little resources with the ill-equipped university. The learning environment has become so populated than usual and students fight over seats in classroom, and bed spaces for residential dormitories also remain insufficient.
The resultant low-caliber teachers, demotivated pool of lecturers and administrative staff, under-resourced learning facilities are the product of such miscalculated moves.
Hence there is a need for a thorough review of the college’s situation with the objective of making it a better learning institution just as we all used to take pride in.
The government must pay college staff decent salary, a salary that is commensurate with the rapidly-increasing cost of living. This will have positive effects on the quality of teachers it will produce.
Let us remember that the teachers produced from the college are the ones molding our children in the schools. Hence investing in their welfare and motivation them will have a direct bearing on the education provided to our children.
Let us also remember that teachers deserve dignified lives and they must be treated as an important, even indispensable, component of our society because without them there is nobody.
“Within the hearts men, loyalty and consideration are esteemed greater than success.”
Bryant H. McGill