May 5, 2008, 7:05 AM
In taking the floor, the PT A chairperson, Alhagie Baba Saidykhan welcomed the and praised them for their impressive turnout. He underlined the importance of the day and looked forward to seeing deserving students receiving their prizes. He encouraged others to take turns next year.
Delivering his school report the principal, Mr. Manding Ceesay, lamented the academic performance of the students. The 2006/07 grade nine Gambia Basic Certificate Examination (GABECE) results were less than favourable. The current grade nine mock exam results were not promising and Barrow Bojang's report on first term Continuous Assessment results were not encouraging. The same report did not speak well of staff attendance and performance statistics.
Parents too did not provide good solutions to the situation. They never provided necessary requirements for their children to compete in the arena of academic competition. "Parents are not visiting school to verify attendance and performance of their children, neither do they respond to the calls by the school to enter into a payment plan for the settlement of school and computer fees," he revealed.
Mr. Ceesay however, advised stakeholders to stop blaming each other and take concerted and collective measures that could turn the school around.
The principal, who has held the post for five months, pointed out attempts to bring about structural and operational reforms in order to pave a common purpose and shape a common direction. These really paid some dividends.
In the Regional Scholarship Pageant Competition for Lower River Region, involving nine upper basic and basic cycle levels, Pakalinding pulled out three out of five places competed. All three winners proceeded to the national level and two of them were lucky to be among the rest sponsored by President Jammeh up to university level.
The school organised a tumultuous welcoming ceremony for their philanthropist guests, "Friends of Si- Kunda". These friends in their turn donated computer sets and stationary materials to the school.
In her turn, the Guest Speaker and new General Secretary of The Gambia Teachers' Union (GTU), Mrs Antoinette Corr Jack, spoke on the role of parents in raising Quality/ Performance in schools, emphasised parental involvement, support and guidance as essential to the attainment of quality education for their children.
Over three hundred prizes were awarded to hardworking student's teachers, parents and sponsors. This colourful ceremony was witnessed by the Governor, Mr. Momodou Soma Jobe and his Deputy; Mr. Momodou .S. Touray, Regional Education Director; Mrs. Majula Joof, Vice Chairperson, Mansakonko Area Council, a representative of the chief, major sponsors, special quests, parents, staff and students.