7 January 2013

Gambia: The Glass Ceiling! Another Sister Has Reached It! Bravo Dr. Ida Jallow Sallah!


Her origins are humble from a struggling mom and dad; determined and focused she promised her parents, extended family, colleagues and friends that she will make it and definitely she has done it. How did she make it?

Since primary school her books were her friend focused on Education to mark her footprints; she struggled in the jungle of the female child, overburdened with household chores but still determined she passed the level with flying colours a determined lasso the pride of her family.

The secondary and tertiary levels saw bitter struggle to have scholarship as a determined child from struggling parents; she again made it with flying colours using opportunities from both states of Senegal and the Gambia a Senegambia child, a bilingual. She inspires us at each level of her education; never rested on her laurels with her Bachelor's later Masters' and now a PhD. She got married to a friend, a colleague who shows the world that in genuine partnership everything is possible and as role models we have to live and work the talk we cannot be a book that teaches good and practices the opposite. Tell me your friend and I'll tell you his/her character.

Our colleague Adama Bah an uncle who adopted and see her through her education said it in his tribute to a deserving niece; "When a child's hands are clean he/she can eat with adults." Ida's hands are clean, she is humble and always works in a team, believes in peer review and consultation with colleagues of all categories and the pupils, scholars and society at large through research so that theory is derive from practice and practice from theory, her approach people centred and pupil/student centred thus she produces a wonderful, relevant and appropriate pieces of work which will stand the test of time.

The contributions from colleagues said it all, the two books launched 28th December, 2012 at Region 1 Education Centre;Quality Assurance Pedagogic Guide To Teaching and Learning; Monitoring Schools Data Collection, Analysis and Report Writing. This is what we need Quality Education in our institutions from Nursery to University. The Gambia has Access which is still elusive for some girls due to poverty and socio cultural considerations as well as to some boys. Dr. Ida's books emphasizing Relevance and Quality Teaching and Learning will go a long way to help the Gambia, Africa and the World to achieve this goal. She has made her hand prints in the sandy space of time.

Congratulations Dr. Ida you have made our day as Gender Activists, you have shown that women/girls can make it despite the small space created for us in private and public spheres. Let's break the Glass Ceiling and excel in Political, Social, Cultural, Ecological spheres, we can make it despite the numerous challenges if we are only determined and focused. These are some of the bright spots we have to celebrate as a nation, as a continent and as members of the global world. Despite our grief that women are still denied equal access and opportunities in many parts of the world, brutally raped and murdered during peace and war time just because they are women. Our heart goes to the New Delhi victim who has passed away today 29th December after being battered with her male partner and gang rape to death. The struggle continues until exploitation, oppression, alienation and marginalization is effaced from the face of the earth. In this struggle genuine women and men has to work in partnership; after all Gender is not a war but calls for genuine partnership between men and women in the private and public space.

We are expecting more female Authors of Books in their various disciplines of Science, Arts, Commerce and Technology. We can make it, she has made it but we need the private space from our partners, our families and the public space from our government to create the conducive environment. I shed emotional tears when she paid tribute to her late mom and our dear Granma Aunty Mary Jarra-Owens-Chapman; "Never say fail." She encouraged all of us; late Mam Ndaxte you supported, encouraged and breathed Education to your last breath on earth; you are smiling wherever you are for your grandchild Ida. She has made all of us proud. Rest in perfect peace both of you and her dear mom!

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