Having gone through the explanations given by MoBSE at the press conference they convened today, I have come to conclude that instead of really appreciating the severity of the problem at hand, they have gone into defensive mode and started to cover themselves.
Breaking down the analyses of the results and highlighting isolated successes in some schools is not the solution at all. Unless one admits that there is a problem; a challenge, one cannot begin to truly seek solutions. The results are clear; there is a serious problem with our education system and whoever denies this fact is simply trying to take us for a ride.
Out of 13, 335 candidates that sat to the exams in 2018, only 475 had five credits including English Language and Maths. This is the minimum requirement for admission into the University of the Gambia and most other universities in the world. Of course, there are others – many others – who had six, seven, eight or nine credits but didn’t get either Maths or English Language. But that is the point; they can’t go to university or find a job.
It is true that in some fields, one can be admitted into the university without a credit in Maths but that is new and how many students can they take anyway? By all standards the results this year are a national tragedy.
The question many are asking is this: What plans are there to integrate these students who have all but failed into the education system? We have very few tertiary institutions, technical ones even fewer. Government must understand that without quality education to back up development plans, we are making any progress anytime soon. For there to be development, we need a well educated and skilled population and the fastest way to do that is through education.
This problem is so serious that the president should even make a statement on it so that everyone knows that government is serious about education. This will put everyone in the sector on their toes so that we begin seeing changes geared towards bettering our education.
The National Assembly Select Committee on education should invite the minister to answer questions as to how this tragedy happened. They must be seen to be doing something. Why is there a serious national discourse on education steered by the government? We need to do something. Now!
Tha Scribbler Bah
A Concerned Citizen