5 July 2012

Gambia: Educationalists Discuss Means of Improving Teaching in Schools

CRR — Officials of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, including the regional education director of the Central River Region, and Cluster Nine teachers recently met in Wassu village in Niani Districtto among other things, discuss ways and means of improving teaching and learning in schools.

The meeting, being the first of its kind for Cluster Nine, availed them the much needed opportunity to discuss the way forward for education in the region. The Cluster Nine comprises of 11 schools including senior secondary schools, upper basic schools, and madarassas.

Speaking at the meeting, the president of the Gambia Teachers' Union (GTU), Lamin K. Marong, thanked the teachers of the Cluster for their cooperation and understanding in doing the job. He described the teaching profession as a noble job, saying teachers are role models in the society.

The GTU boss assured the teachers that the Union will not relent in defending their rights, but he was quick to stress that they can't do anything once they involve themselves into criminal activities.

The deputy secretary general of GTU, Essa Sowe, for his part, explained that the arrangement of teachers in a particular region is to make sure that they do their work with a view to improving teaching and learning processes. He noted that teachers play important role in the society, particularly inculcating discipline in children, who are the future leaders.

He assured that the GTU will continue to advocate the advancement of the teaching profession, as well as for improved quality education in schools. Sowe emphasised that achieving quality education is among the priorit y of the GTU.

Also speaking at the meeting, the principal education officer of the region, Alpha Camara, highlighted the importance of keeping reliable data in schools. This, he explained is an evidence on which polices are built and help to identify needs, set goals and determine progress.

Camara stressed the need for improvement in enrolment and retention in schools in order to minimise the phenomenon of dropouts. He called on teachers to help sensitise the communities on this issue so as to ensure that students complete their education at their respective schools.

Speaking earlier, the cluster monitor of Cluster Nine, Saikou Jawneh, described the meeting as very meaningful. He said the teachers of the Cluster now know the importance of cluster gathering, thus expressing hope that the meeting would go a long way in enhancing the quality of teaching in schools.

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