Oct 13, 2011, 3:19 PM
Members of the National Patriotic Students Association (NAPSA) on Monday 9 January embarked on their back-to-school tour to senior schools in Banjul.
The tour was meant to assess the turnout of students on the first opening day of the school term considered by many students as ‘a non-learning day’.
The delegation first visited the Gambia Senior Secondary School, where they were received by the school principal Lamin Jaiteh.
In his remarks, Mr Jaiteh said the reason the school recorded an impressive turnout on its opening day was because of the counselling and advice students get from the school authorities.
He said they talk to them about morality and the importance of coming to school on the first day of the opening, saying the beginning of everything is the best.
He also applauded NAPSA for their active role in sensitising their colleagues on the need to report to their respective schools on the first day of school opening.
Also addressing the students at Gambia Senior Secondary School during the assembly was Ousman Senghore, public relations officer of NAPSA. In his words, Gambia High is one of the best schools in the country and people are looking up to them.
He also complained about the immoral dress code adopted by young people, which he said is a sign of disrespect for authorities and religion.
The NAPSA spokesperson reminded students that schools are guided by rules and regulations they must obey. He expressed satisfaction about the turnout and urged students to practise discipline.
Meanwhile, from Gambia High, the delegation later headed to JC Faye Senior Secondary School, where the NAPSA students on tour went into the classrooms to see the turnout of students for themselves.
Even though the turnout at the school was poor due to reasons best known to them, Saffiatou Jallow, assistant secretary of NAPSA, advised those present to read their books, study hard and abide by the rules and regulation of the school.
For her part, Madam Annette Cherie, principal of the school, said the problem with the students is not in school but at home since that is where they spend must of their time.
She said she was happy to receive NAPSA at her school even though the turnout was not impressive on the day.
The tour party then proceeded to Saint Augustine’s Senior Secondary School, where they had a forum with the students.
In his address, NAPSA PRO Ousman Senghore says the opening day of school is very important.
He urged the students to always respect their teachers, adding that teachers sacrifice a lot to get students taught at school.
At St. Joseph Senior Secondary School, Joseph Mendy, vice-principal of the school, said teachers also advise their students on the importance of coming to school on opening day.
Finally, the last school visited by the tour party was the Muslim Senior Secondary School.
The acting-principal Nfansu Bojang said they registered 80% turnout on the first day of school opening.
He added that at their level they have regular meetings in schools and all these issues are discussed at the conference of principals.
For his part, Imam Sheriff Badjan, principal of Muslim Arabic School, said that before NAPSA was formed they encountered a lot of problems in schools because dealing with students has never been easy but they thank God now that things are changing gradually.