Less than 24 hours after the commencement of the new official government working days and hours, the Gambia government has reversed its decision, allowing schools to operate on Fridays instead of the earlier announced Saturdays.
A press release from the Office of the President announced late Friday that "the Office of the President hereby informs the general public, especially parents, teachers and students that schools are exempt from this arrangement."
"Schools will continue to operate from Mondays to Fridays as usual; they will not be affected by the new four-day working week," the release stated.
Last Tuesday, the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education announced that effective 1st February 2013, all schools (public and private) will now operate on Saturdays and not on Fridays.
This, according to a press release from the Ministry, followed a press release from the Office of the President on the new official working days and hours, which was expect to come into effect on Friday 1st February 2013.
The Ministry stated that schools will henceforth be required to maintain the current time schedule from Monday to Thursday for both single and double-shift schools.
"Friday will cease to be a school day and hence, schools, MUST NOT engage students to congregate within their premises for instructions on this day," the release said.
Also last Wednesday, the Presidency announced that the private sector and the business community are exempt from this new working arrangement.
A press release from the presidency said the private sector and business community are, therefore, allowed to open for business on Fridays.
According to the release, this new dispensation includes banks, hospitals and health care providers, Gambia Ports Authority, Gambia Revenue Authority, and the security services, among others.