Gambia: College Students' Demonstration Cancelled

The Gambia College students have cancelled their planned demonstration following an intense close-door meeting with the relevant authorities which was held yesterday at the college campus in Brikama.

Numerous sources informed Foroyaa that the minister of higher education, Badara Joof and his permanent secretary plus the college governing council chairman, had a close-door meeting with the administration and the students' union to discuss the matter.

The students wanted to demonstrate because they were not having lectures since they resumed school two weeks ago and also demanded for permanent solutions to the problems the lecturers have been grappling with at the college.

Bakary Badjie, the education minister of the students' union said after a long meeting with the minister and other stakeholders, they have now agreed to call off the demonstration.

Mr. Badjie said they have put forward demands and the minister said his office would swiftly work towards addressing them.

The unionist said their demands were for the college's dormitory at Brikama Campus to be renovated: that there is an efficient wireless internet connection at the college, they want the issue of insufficient furniture at the college is solved, they also want the ministry to help them complete the construction of the union complex and that lectures start today.

In fact, Mr. Badjie said they were promised by the officials that by Monday May 20, 2019, the renovation of the dormitory will kick start.

The President of the Gambia College Press Club, Babucarr Jammeh, said Minister Joof assured the lecturers that their demands would be considered and his ministry would give 25% salary increment to the lecturers'.

Jammeh said Minister Joof told the lecturers that the 50% salary increment they announced excludes college lecturers and that of the University of The Gambia and Gambia Technical Training Institute.

"The minister after having a close-door meeting with the administration and the council, went on to talk to the students' union," he said.

Jammeh said Minister Joof implored the students to desist from their planned demonstration and assured them that the lecturers' demands would be addressed and the students' plights would be looked into.

Jammeh said the officials also assured them that lessons would be extended to cover up the missed ones.

As of yesterday, the reports Foroyaa was privy to, indicated that the teachers' sit-down strike ends today and the students' planned demonstration is called off.

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