Governing a country requires more than a slogan and so does educating our children requires more than rhetoric of free education. The education department and the regime had their work cut out for them because those very rhetoric’s were put into practice in the recent 2016 WASSCE results calendar year. Suffice it to say, less than 450 students out of whole country passed all subjects. According to WAEC, out of 11,659 candidates who registered for the exam, only 444 obtained credit in five subjects and above, including English and math’s. 1,871 candidates obtained only one credit, and 1,100 two credits. Unquestionably, building many schools is a great initiative and positive step by the regime. Review, refinement and rationalization of our education sector are undoubtedly required. While teachers cannot shoulder all the blame for the range of deficiencies shown on the WASSCE results, the regime need to put in new measurement standards in place to make our school more accountable.
Furthermore, hiring unqualified personnel’s or having departments lead by incompetent people who display more than the profound ignorance that we’ve all come to expect from them instead of accomplishing our education system’s desired end. That end, of course is, it failed our children and the education system is getting progressively worst as a result of many things but most notably, disengaging the intellectual diasporian as bad citizens, wasting talent and a massive brain drain. Yet again, this exposes the educational apartheid that has plagued our beloved country. Unfortunately, when you do not acknowledge the PPP government contributions to Gambian life, and continue to distort history by fanning resentment, minimizing the sacrifices of people to burnish your own legacy with false tales by being arrogantly dismissive, blaming everything on colonial rule, becoming less forthright about your mistakes, pillorying decent people as criminals, the end results are the facts catch with you.
The regime could have ceased on PPP short comings and allowing Gambian intellectuals to come up with a blue print solution to pressing problems for current education crisis, strengthened teachers training programs to equip them with the required skills, and career advance structure development in order to help meet the demands of the country’s vision and the dynamic global skills market. Every chance Yaya Jammeh gets to pushes our country forward, he resorts to deeply pessimistic vision where he is always appealing to the worst in people to turn against each other, and turning away from the rest of the world. The APRC platform fails to offer a single idea to address the education crisis because only one man has all the solutions — Yaya Jammeh. We need honesty and transparency in priotizing our education for our children’s future. Anytime there is grant to help prospective students access to best education, the funds are squandered, the regime does comply with regulations to meet specific educational standards, would resist such measures coming from opposition and instead provide egregious misrepresentations.
Moving forward, while it is certainly important to revamp our education system, teacher’s salary must increase to match the high living cost. One can only shudder at the thought of teachers not able to educate our children due to lack of resources, limited knowledge of the curriculum and limited access to teaching materials which are needed to empower students with both skills and analytical tools. These are the basic rights of every Gambian that the country has to provide its citizens with quality life. it is hard to conceive what all those children’s whom the system failed at a time of stalled growth, stringent visa processing requirements, rising unemployment and offering too little relevant preparation for 21st-century life to complete with other African children.
By Habib ( A Concerned Gambian)