Gambia: Basic Education Ministry Recognises Teachers' Diligent Services

Basse — The minister of Basic and Secondary Education has asserted that her Ministry recognises the commitment, relentless and diligent services of the Gambian teacher folk in the drive for the attainment of quality education in the country. Fatou Lamin Faye was speaking Saturday in Basse where she presided over the annual teachers' award ceremony of the Regional Education Directorate of Region Six, Upper River Region.

The ceremony, attended by stakeholders inbasic and secondary education in the country, was designed among other things to reward teachers that have been hardworking, dedicated to duties and committed to the attainment of quality education and standard of teaching in URR.

In her words of wisdom to the teachers, the Basic and Secondary Education minister enjoined them to live up to expectation and to ensure that they abide by the teaching ethics, with a view to impact positively on the lives of the children who will eventually take the reigns of this country.

Minister Faye then harped on the significance of the ceremony, saying Region Six is the only one in the country that organises such an important event, and therefore urged other regions in the country to emulate Region Six in recognising the efforts and services rendered by teachers in the country.

The minister, who described her Ministry as a key player in the attainment of Vision 2020 and the newly crafted Programme for Accelerated Growth and Employment (PAGE), pledged that they will continue to create opportunities for teachers in a conducive environment. "If you continue to render these services with sincerity, honesty, dedication, commitment, and hard work, you will be rewarded," she said.

She also elucidated the fact that the government of The Gambia under the leadership of President Jammeh attaches great importance to the education sector. This, she explained availed the sector to register remarkable achievements, as well as enabled them to turn the ministry into a learning organisation with lot of opportunities for teachers, including the chance to pursue degree programmes at the University of The Gambia. MinisterFaye concluded by urging the recipients of these awards to redouble their efforts.

Speaking earlier, the deputy permanent secretary at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Momodou Sanneh, underscored the significance of the event. He averred that despite the difficulties teachers are facing in the rural areas, they still continue to render the required services, thus commending them for the good job. He described education as the bedrock of all, stressing that without proper education, the country cannot achieve its primary objectives.

DPS Sanneh joined Minister Faye in commenting on the importance the government attached to education, saying this is manifested by the budgetary allocation of 20% to the education sector. He then challenged the teachers to do their utmost best towards achieving the objectives of the Ministry. "With hard work and determination, we will attain the goals in education," he stated, while commending the cluster monitors in the region for their tireless efforts in improving teaching and learning in the region.

The Regional Education director for Region Six, Claudiana Cole, for her part, praised teachers for their performance. She said Region Six is fast becoming a region to be reckoned with in terms of teachers' performance; that the region is gaining recognition in many events. Cole then commended her Ministry for all that it is doing in changing the perception towards teaching, as well as for providing the enabling environment for teachers to perform with high professionalism.

While urging teachers in the region to continue working hard, Director Cole thanked the minister for her sense of commitment to the welfare of teachers. Other speakers included Sulayman S. Sanyang who was crowned the 'Best Teacher of the Year.'

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