Monday, July 22, 2024

NAMs Applaud NA Education Committee’s Report, Urge Implementation of Recommendations

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By: Mama A. Touray

National Assembly members applauded the National Assembly Select Committee on Education, Training, and ICT’s report on visits to private schools, madrasas, GSM operators, and Internet service providers, among others, in the Greater Banjul Area and West Coast Region. They urged the implementation of the committee’s recommendations.

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Nfally M. Kora, the National Assembly member for Tumana, praised the committee for their report and recommendations, noting that if implemented, most of the issues facing the country’s educational sector would be addressed. He urged the committee to review the policy guiding private school tuition fees, highlighting that in provincial Gambia, there are few private schools, and some charge expensive fees.

The committee recommended that the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education ensure that Social and Environmental Studies, the History of The Gambia, and Agriculture (Middle & Senior schools) be mandatory subjects in both private and public schools. Hon. Gibbi Mballow, NAM for Lower Fuladu West, welcomed this recommendation, stating, “This is very important, and we must not disregard our history. It should be taught in schools so students understand our historical background. Agriculture, being the backbone, should be mandatory because it concerns everyone. Making it mandatory will change students’ mindsets.”

Madi Ceesay, NAM for Serrekunda, also emphasized the importance of teaching the history of The Gambia in schools, noting that the country’s journey to self-determination, independence, and its contributions to the Second World War are crucial topics that need to be taught.

Lamin Ceesay, NAM for Kiang West, applauded the recommendation for the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education to review policies to ensure madrassas receive support for classroom construction and the payment of qualified teachers. “This is a very important recommendation because it is disheartening to see students from madrassas seeking donations on the streets to renovate their schools. Such donations cannot build adequate structures, and these students are citizens of this country,” he stated.

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On the issue of TVET, NAM for Wuli East, Suwaibou Touray, said, “We need to incorporate our national languages because many students who go to TVET do not proceed to higher institutions. Using our own languages in schools will significantly improve their understanding.”

Amadou Camara, NAM for Nianija, urged the chairman of the standing committee and his team to make routine follow-ups on the recommendations, noting that some of them are critical and affect people’s lives.

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