Sep 20, 2011, 12:38 PM
The Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWEGAM) The Gambia Chapter yesterday held its 7th General Assembly at the TANGO Hall in Kanifing.
Speaking at the ceremony on behalf of the Minister of Basic and Secondary Education Fatou Lamin Faye, Director of Human Resources Fatou Njie Jallow said that in every successful endeavour, it is always vital and important to stop at a point to reflect on successful milestones, reach challenges encountered and to re-strategise and forge the way forward.
She added: "Three years ago, we met at Sun Beach Hotel for the General Assembly and today we are gathered here to once again take stock of our achievements, our shortcomings and to try to carve a clear roadmap for the achievement of the vision, mission and objectives of this organization – FAWEGAM."
She described the task of the assembly as "herculean", noting that it is therefore the responsibility of every one to ensure that the right decisions are made in line with what they are advocating for as a body.
"That is by working towards the advancement of women and girls, promoting gender equity in education, and the elimination of all forms of discrimination and obstacles," she said.
Madam Njie-Jallow stated that a lot of progress has been registered since the last General Assembly, noting that the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education has been working closely with FAWEGAM through the Gender Education Unit.
The successes registered by FAWEGAM, in collaboration with the gender unit of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, is immense, she said, adding that the ministry is pleased with the progress made in the area of girl’s enrolment, in reducing early marriage through advocacy, mediation and negotiation with families, and in advocacy on retention and improved quality education for girls, especially in mathematics and science at the senior secondary level.
She said further that the challenges are enormous but they should not relent in their efforts to achieving the vision, mission and objectives of FAWEGAM, noting that they should continue to work closely and collaboratively with government and other stakeholders in education.
She said they should continue to work with the civil society, especially grassroots communities because these are the people that need their assistance and interventions the most.
"FAWEGAM has a stake in ensuring that The Gambia achieves the Millennium Development Goals, especially Goals 3 and 2," she stated.
She noted that they must endeavour to build the capacity of girls so that they can work with men and boys to produce a competent human resource base for the country.
"An area we have to continue working on is to ensure that the goals for higher education for girls are accomplished," she said, adding: "With this we would be able to bring girls to the front seat at all times and to make their voice heard and to be also able to include them in decision making at all levels."
Mrs Emily Foon Sarr chaired the opening ceremony of the General Assembly.