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Principals Scramble for Teachers

Sep 10, 2008, 5:56 AM | Article By: By Lamin B. Darboe

As new School academic year began for Regions Two to Six on Monday September 8th while Region One will re-open on September 22nd 2008. Many principals at Upper Basic, Senior Secondary and BasicCycleSchools from Regions One to Six especially principals within Regions One and Two are scrambling for new teaching staff in their different subject areas.

The rapidly expanding education sector has been putting pressure on school administrators to fill vacant positions in their various institutions in order to satisfy the needs of their students. This situation has compelled school principals to create more incentives to attract qualified and experienced teachers in their schools. Information gathered by this reporter show that some of the incentives private schools offer for their teachers includes fat allowances in respect of transport, housing and medical care and in this regard it is believed that private schools have been able to offer more attractive pay packages than public schools. This has left some public schools struggling for adequate teaching staff and in some parts of region Two.

 Kombo areas are said to attract more teachers because of the rural to urban migration trend. According to this reporter, some teachers who had spent many years in regions Five and Six are seeking transfers to schools in regions One and Two in order to earn higher pay at private schools and also to upgrade themselves academically.

A teacher from Region Three said, "it is hard to get study classes in provincial schools." A situation he attributed to poverty among the parents.

Visiting some schools in Region One, revealed that most private schools had conducted their interviews during the first week of August 2008 for their new teachers in the coming school academic year and were given their appointment letters. Some Principals in public schools however expressed fear that some of the newly qualified teachers from GambiaCollege may not report to their new schools of posting because of the low pay from the Government. "Some of these new teachers may receive higher pay in private schools than public schools," they stated.