Faal says education system on brink of collapse 

Sep 1, 2021, 1:50 PM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

While unveiling his candidacy for the country's top job, Essa Mbaye Faal has claimed that the country’s education sector is deteriorating 

“The quality of education in the country is deteriorating so badly that most students in grades 10 and grade 12 failed their exams. The performance in English, Maths and Science is depreciating. Many of the teachers are simply not qualified or not good enough for the job. The schools hardly have any facilities let alone be labelled as schools in the 21st century,” he posited.

The former lead counsel of the TRRC who was speaking on Friday while unveiling his intention to contest in the much anticipated December 4th presidential election, said: “To add insult to injury, the poor quality education is offered at very high cost. Even middle class families will require help from abroad to be able to pay the school fees.”

On employment, he said, employment opportunities are extremely lacking. “Young men and women complete their education and they can’t find jobs. Many of them resort to perilous journeys across the desert in order to find or look for greener pastures in Europe. In fact, they called it Barcelona or Barca and you asked them why, well if they don’t have anything to live for, they have everything to die for in order to get something beneficial,” he noted, claiming that we are losing a lot of young people to drugs and alcohol.

The agricultural sector, Mr. Faal continues, is significantly declining, adding: “Even the Chinese are now competing with the women in Gunjur for the little women’s farms in order to farm on them,” describing it as very shocking. “The fish that we used to have in abundance are no longer to be seen. A lot of our fishes are now finding their ways to China or our neighbouring countries. The environment in a lot of these fishing towns and villages has been so badly designated by poor and ill-thought investments that don’t even benefit the Gambian people.” 

“An examination of every sector in The Gambia reveals a nightmare situation. Even the security situation in the country is now deteriorating badly. People are no longer safe in their homes.”

“I read a report that was published recently and indicated that 45% of our population don’t drink clean water. The NAWEC pipes are all infected. That’s the sad situation and that’s the story of this country.”

What is stopping us from prosperity, he added, is not the absence of sound policies, but the failure of leadership and the focus on petty politics, surname of place of origin, “We are fixated on foolish parochial values that keep us firmly rooted in the grass and the crouches. For us, politics and leadership has for the longest time been reserved for those who are not very successful in their society. It is time to confront these problems head on with the right calibre leadership to turnaround the situation for a better Gambia for all.”

His government, he added, will also build roads to reduce the traffic jams and ensure greater access to the hinterland;create a specific office in OP to ensure that there is focus on this important priority. “We will invest in renewable energy and ensure uninterrupted electricity and water supply, transform our subsistence farming to all year round farming and agribusiness, accelerate the port expansion project for re-export trade with the sub-region.”

He promised that that his government will ensure greater cooperation and coordination with the diaspora in all aspects of national development, saying: “We will establish a Department for Diaspora Affairs that will provide support and assistance to the diaspora in all their legitimate and lawful activities in the country including  building homes and making investments.”

“We will also ensure justice for the victims of human rights violations that occurred during the 22 years from 1994 to 2017 and also ensure adequate reparation for victims of human rights violations and proper memorialisation of their victimisation and among host of others.”

If he is elected into office, he further added, his government will cut government waste such as minister with two cars whiles hospitals don’t have ambulances, establish a programme for job creation, reform the tax law with a view to ensuring higher revenue collection, use savings and gains from tax reform to invest in health care.