Education is a crucial factor in the socio-economic transformation of any nation. This is because there is no better resource for development than the people for whom development is meant. Education is important in this as it enables people to expand their capacity to think creatively and to formulate development plans and projects.
Also, the more educated the people become, the more likely it is that, they will take ownership of the development process.
The news that the World Bank has approved funds to improve access to education in the country is therefore significant and timely considering the limited time available for the accomplishment of our national development goals. Imagine how far The Gambia would have gone in her battle against poverty and underdevelopment, if we have had access to education some three hundred years ago! We must not forget that knowledge is the biggest weapon against poverty and underdevelopment as it provides people the avenues to harness and utilise their potentials for growth.
While we commend the World Bank for the move, we equally wish to call on all stakeholders in education to marry access with discipline. This is essential because discipline is one of the most fundamental characteristics of a human being, in school, in our homes and everywhere in the world. It goes far beyond attending school regularly or passing examinations. Discipline encompasses training of the mind and character of a person, which will result to self-control and a habit of obedience.
And Knowledge without discipline is useless; it is only knowledge alongside discipline that one can use to get anything in life. And it is the only weapon that one can also use to fight against poverty, harassment, difficulties, violence and discrimination in society.
Discipline must therefore be a key feature of our education system.