Claudiana A. Cole was speaking on Wednesday during her ministry’s routine National Bantaba held at the ministry’s premises in Banjul.
Schools will reopen on 14 October 2020 for grades 7 to 12. The Early Childhood Development (ECD) and grades 1 to 6 will commence learning on 28 October.
Minister Cole reminded the gathering that it had been seven months that there has not been formal face to face teaching in the schools, adding that whatever her ministry afforded to do, in terms of providing education was done remotely.
She thanked God for giving space to grades 9 and 12 students to sit their transitional examination without any reported case of coronavirus infection among the students.
Minister Cole noted that government is spending huge sums of money towards the provision of basic education in the country, pointing out that needs to be recognised and appreciated by the general public. She therefore enjoins parents and guardians to contribute their quota more than ever before since lots of school time has been lost within those seven months.
Minister Cole further highlighted that when it comes to the provision of quality education, it should be a concerted effort for everyone.
“What we use to have as normal schooling before will not be the same anymore because we will use different strategies in the schools to make sure we provide quality education to the children when they go back to schools.
On the sitting arrangement of students in class, Minister Cole explained that no class will accommodate 50 students anymore as was the past. We are going to have a maximum of 30 students in a class or less. “This is why we decided to extend the school days and time.”
She said Covid-19 talks about physical distancing and students will sit in class off 1 meter because “we want all students to have an opportunity to sit comfortably in their classroom.”
The forum ended with questions and answer session.
The day’s national forum was witnessed by the SMCs Conference of Principals, GTU, school heads, stakeholders, students and Ministry officials.
By Lamin B. Darboe
Information Officer, MoBSE