21 March 2019

Gambia: 'Second Chance Education Targets School Drop Outs' Minister Cole

Mrs Claudiana Cole, the Minister of Education, said the 'Second Chance Education' program, is targeting youth and adult School dropped outs due to early marriage, pregnancy and distance to access education.

Mrs Cole was responding to the question raised by the National Assembly Member for Bakau Constituency Assan Touray, who questioned the rationale behind the program.

"Rather than defeat the purpose of vocational education training, it provides a solid basic education foundation for participants and thus creates the opportunity for multiple pathways for them," Mrs Cole said.

Mrs Cole said with regards to salary increment, it was clarified that the issue affects the whole civil service and cannot be addressed in piecemeal. She however said with the 50% increment approved by the president, provincial allowances were also increased in July 2018 from 12.5% to 20% for NBR and LRR, and from 15% to 23% for CRR and URR respectively. She decried that the demand to increase double shift allowances from the current rate of 50% to 100%, would be technically challenging for the Ministry to have an employee on double shift salary, on the same payroll. "We indeed negotiated for an increment between 60% and 70% but due to budgetary constraints, the proposal could not be honoured," she said.

Responding to a question asked by the MP for Claudiana Cole informed Members that her Ministry is aware and convinced that teaching the child through the language he/she knows best at the foundational level, has the potential to assist the child develop cognitively and learns with ease.

"We are currently using seven main national languages: Mandinka, Pulaar, Wolof, Jola, Saranhulle, Seereere and Manjako, to promote the development of early literacy from ECD, to grade three," she said.

Cole narrated that Basick Lower Basic School is located between Dippa Kinda and Kataba in Sabach Sanjal; adding the School was to be opened in 2018/2019 academic year and has two classrooms, operating two classes including ECDs.

"The temporal structures are conducive for learning for the time being and can serve them through the rainy season. We have however included the School among our priority list as part of our next area of intervention," she said.


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