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Multi grade is an administrative necessity - PS Boye

Jan 4, 2010, 1:42 PM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE), Mr. Baboucarr Boye has told 100 teachers that his Ministry is convinced of multi-grade as an administrative necessity.

PS Boye made this remark last Thursday during the closing ceremony of a five-day workshop on training of teachers on multi-grade teaching in schools. The main objective of the workshop was to train teachers, head teachers and cluster monitors, in a bid to provide them with knowledge and necessary pedagogic skills for the overall improvement of multi-grade in the schools. 

According to PS Boye, "the Ministry will not relent in its efforts to change the face of multi-grade in our education system, for the better and will provide all support necessary to internalise the Learning Initiatives for Rural Education (LIRE) into our education services delivery structures."

He added that the training of teachers on multi-grade in the schools came at a time when the demand for quality education has greatly intensified and there is insistence on the part of rural communities for small schools to deliver just like big schools.  He stated that concerns about multi-grade teaching have long been the focus of his Ministry.

"Many people feel that multi-grade teaching is simply a way for one teacher to work with a very large group of students. Multi-grade techniques are simply a way for the government to escape its responsibility to hire and train sufficient numbers of teachers," he said. PS Boye said such negative perceptions of multi-grade teaching have led to significant resistance about its implication, adding that in the past support for multi-grade was limited to the work of one NGO, called ActionAid.

For her part, Mrs. Emily Foon Sarr, Technical Assistant for multi-grade said the Education Ministry is taking action to ensure that multi-grade teaching is improved and that rural citizens are not short in terms of educational services as it pertains to multi- grading. She said the project objective seeks to assist in developing the required tools for teaching and learning, develop and implement action research approaches, provide support to teachers in demonstration schools and renovate multi-grade teaching in schools.