Dec 1, 2010, 1:39 PM
We commend the principal of Armitage Senior Secondary School, Mr. Ebrima Joof, for urging his students to redouble their efforts and study intensively as they are preparing for their exams in May of this year. This is a very important time in the lives of these young people and with a steadying influence like Mr. Joof to remind them they will fare well. This must be a time of diligence and hard work on the part of the students. Their hard work must be rewarded . However it is the job of the Gambia government to ensure that when they achieve high marks; that there is further education or a sufficient supply of jobs for them to take up. As we have said many times before, if students believe that they will not get a job when they have completed their studies, they will find themselves unmotivated to study and perhaps not applying themselves as well as they could.
Of course government is only one branch of the issue. Mr. Joof outlined in his interview with The Point that most students fail in their exams as a result of parents or guardians failing in their responsibilities. This is a very serious and sad thing. If young people are not receiving encouragement at home, then they can easily slacken off on their work or, in some cases, drop out completely. Every parent wants what's best for their child and this is why it is so startling to read what Mr. Joof says. Every parent should encourage their child to study hard and get themselves an education. In many cases parents are struggling with the various costs associated with education and this makes it more unbelievable that they would stand idly by while their hard-earned money gets wasted by children who fail to apply themselves fully. Parents must take responsibility. Education is the foundation on which national development shall continue to be built. We owe it not only to our children but to ourselves and the nation as a whole to ensure that every child is educated to a very high standard. This will contribute not only to development but to poverty alleviation.
The government has done much to make education far more accessible in The Gambia but they too should take Mr. Joof's advice and redouble their efforts. As we have heard in recent days debt relief has meant that the government now has access to a large volume of cash that was previously servicing debt. With a fraction of this money they could ensure that teachers are both well remunerated and paid on time. This leaves only the role of young people themselves. They must take Mr. Joof's advice and be diligent and hardworking. We must all work together, with parents, teachers, young people and the government all playing their respective roles to ensure education continues to move us further along the path to development.