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Quality teachers are necessary for quality education - EFA network

Feb 15, 2011, 1:39 PM | Article By: Sanna Camara

A Consultancy report on "Valuing Teachers - The Situation Regarding Teachers in The Gambia" by the Education For All Network has found out that quality teachers are a necessity for attaining quality education in the country.

The report was tabled for validation by stakeholders at the conference hall of the Regional Education Office in Kanifing on Monday. It was commissioned by the EFA Network, Voluntary Services Organisation (The Gambia), and The Gambia Teachers Union.

Giving an overview of the report, the National Coordinator of EFA Network, Matharr Baldeh, said "Valuing Teachers" is an initiative launched by the Network and partners three years ago as a way of reflecting and assessing the role of teachers in national development.

He said: "Teachers are very valuable. Our status in society has changed thanks to teachers. Hence it is important to look at their roles in national development."

Mr Baldeh explained that in 2007, EFA and partners like the Teachers Union conducted a research on teachers' motivation in the country. This, he said, made interesting and controversial revelations regarding the status of teachers in society, and became a useful advocacy material afterwards.

Hence this latest study by VSO, in partnership with the Network that started in March 2010, is a follow-up and is specifically focusing on unqualified teachers.  In January 2011, the report was submitted to the International Conference of Teachers held in Kenya, where it was found out that situation of teachers as highlighted by the report are not peculiar to The Gambia.

However, he said, prior to this, it was initially submitted to the Ministry of Education, along with the senior management team of all their partners for their perusal.

The validation, Mr Baldeh continued, is another milestone in the process as participants have been carefully chosen to represent their organisaton based on competence.

He said their inputs will be very relevant to make the document wholesome as it will help the ministry to look at the issue of unqualified teachers from a critical point of view.

The VSO Consultant, Ms Courtney Gardner, in summarising the report, noted that all categories of teachers have been sampled - from conventional school teachers to Madrassas.

Mr Jatta of the VSO office, leading the participants into group discussions, challenged them to not only look at quality but also the disparity between Madrassas and conventional schools in attaining teacher quality.