13 February 2018

Gambia: Teachers for Change Resume Work

Teachers all over the country who embarked on the recent sit-down strike of Monday 5th February 2018, have resumed teaching in their various schools.

Following the joint meeting held on Saturday 10th February 2018, and subsequent joint press release among the Teachers Task Force for Change (TFTC), The Gambia Teachers Union (GTU), the Honourable Minister and Permanent Secretary of MOBSE, in the presence of the Honourable Minister for High Education (MOHERST) and other stakeholders, an agreement has been reached for the demands of teachers to be seriously looked into and that all teachers should return to their teaching posts.

This reporter visited some of the public schools on Monday the 12th day of February 2018, in the Kanifing Municipal Council (KMC), Region one and found teachers in their various classes teaching.

Speaking to some of them while in their classes, they said they are not satisfied with the response from the stakeholders. They said the reason why most of them decided to go back to their various schools to teach is because external examination (WASSCE) is fast approaching and they don't want their students to fail.

"The stakeholders did not give any solution to our demands. Putting them in to consideration is not the solution. We will teach but they have to do something in order to maintain us in the classrooms, "they said.

Some teachers said teaching is regarded as a noble professional that is why they have not considered any other field; that it is their source of livelihood and that of their families.

A senior teacher in one of the Upper Basic Schools visited said he has been in the teaching field for more than 20 years, but cannot buy a compound for himself; according to him this is because of the low salary.

"Teaching been a noble profession does not mean that you should be poor because you are a teacher. Our demands should be put into consideration otherwise next time if such happen it may be more wasteful to the government than this past one" he said.

It could be recalled that teachers in the various public schools last week embarked on sit down Strike in connection with their demands and general welfare.

Readers could recall that the teachers' demands included increment in salary, full payment of double shift allowances, teacher trainees to benefit from hardship allowances, to put an end to late payment of allowances and the issuing of identity cards to teachers like other Government institutions.

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