Jun 5, 2009, 9:18 AM
is being reported in the news on The Point today that about 700 teachers have
begun a sit down strike over allegation of deduction of about seven million
from their salaries beginning September to date. This is a worrying development
taking into account the number of teachers involved.
Meanwhile, what is more frustrating is that the sit-down strike comes a day in which students in the country started sitting to their Gambia Basic Education Certificate Examination (GABECE).
Though, official said these striking teachers have been denied access to quality services that the Catholic Education Secretariat Credit Union (CESCU) and the Gambia Teachers Union Cooperative Union (GTUCCU) provide coupled with the fact that the failure to disburse funds has resulted to huge sums of interest being accrued by the ABASCUS (Computer) System at the expense of the teachers.
It is regrettable that such actions may have dire consequences on our education system. However, we call on the ministry concern to dialogue and find amicable solution to the issues.
Certainly, teachers need better pay to be able to concentrate so as to give quality output. We also need to have a better understanding and appreciation of what they do. Good teachers are the ultimate multi-tasking agents - they learn through experience what works best. They teach not only academics, but also thinking skills. They teach children to learn how to figure things out on their own, solve problems and become lifelong learners.
We need to make the teaching job more appealing by paying teachers more and demanding great work in return. And we also must develop a fair evaluation system for ridding our schools of teachers who aren’t cutting it.
We should always bear in mind that every single day teachers across the country make a significant difference to the lives of thousands of young people.
Very often the contributions of teachers to the development of tomorrow’s generation, and indeed the country’s overall development, are not acknowledged and there is sometimes little appreciation for their sterling contribution.
Fulfilling their role has become an absolute expectation. There are many issues facing teachers in The Gambia which need to be addressed. Teachers must also be able to operate in a system where they are not subject to unfair treatment or repression when they take a stand based on principle.
We therefore, once again call on the government, Catholic Education Secretariat (CES) and concern parties to do everything within their limits to refund monies deducted from the salaries of these striking teachers. Teachers deserve better than that!
“A good teacher is like a candle
it consumes itself to light the way for others..”
Mustafa Kemal Atatürk