Gambia: EFANET Holds Bantaba On Education Policy

Education For All Campaign Network (EFANET) in collaboration with stakeholders in the education sector recently held a 'Bantanba' meeting to raise awareness on teacher code of conduct, special needs of education and sexual harassment policies, among others, at Greater Banjul Upper Basic School, in Kanifing.

At the meeting, Matarr Baldeh, national coordinator of EFANET, informed that the government of The Gambia and other education stakeholders from other countries, in 2000 met in Dakar to form an organisation of Education for All (EFANET) and this organisation was established in The Gambia in 2002. It aimed at promoting educational right, primary education and early childhood education, and three schools were identified to save the right of the students.

Janet A Mansal, the Gambia Teachers' Union (GTU) desk officer, spoke at length about the GTU code of professional ethics and conduct, saying that teaching is a career which is expected to have rules, morals and behaviour. According to her, GTU has a big role to play in the society, noting that they care about their profession as teachers or educators.GTU, Mansal added has a core value, principles and fundamental rules in which actions are taken based on common values of quality education for all, education as a basic human right, rooted in national and local culture and tradition.

She therefore urged the teachers to dress properly as the rule said, to avoid harassment in the eyes of students.

For her part, Anna Nancy Mendy, the principal education officer of Basic Education Directorate, made a presentation on the special needs of education and inclusive policy framework. She reminded that the 2004-2015 policy vision statement indicated that it would provide a provision of responsive relevant and quality education for all Gambians.

According to her, the international legal frameworks advocate the right of the persons with disabilities. She cited the 1948 Universal Declaration of the Human Rights, 1971 General Assembly Resolution on the Declaration on the right of mentally retarded persons, and 1975 Declaration on rights of disabled persons, as some of the significant examples.

Madam Mendy however expressed delight over the turn out of the participants and for their efforts inmaking the forum successful.

Abbie Barrow of Nova Scotia Gambia Association (NSGA) spoke about corporal punishment in schools, urging teachers to treat students fairly and to stop beating them.

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