Gambia: MoBSE Confirms Mass Promotion Will Continue Despite COVID-19 Hitches

The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) has informed lawmakers in Banjul on Wednesday that mass promotion will continue across the grades despite the setback the global Covid-19 pandemic posed to the education system.

Claudiana Cole, the minister of the aforesaid ministry, made the revelations in response to a question raised by Bakau lawmaker, Assan Touray, who asked for the measures put in place for the transition of students from one level to another in the coming academic year.

Minister Cole remarked: "The ministry in its policy pronouncement has nine years of uninterrupted basic education and will use this policy in addition to the continuous assessment to transit students from grade one (1) to grade eight (8), while for grade 10 and 11, the continuous assessment grades, during the course of the academic year will be used for their promotions to the next level."

Assan Touray in his supplementary question asked the minister with the lost hours the education sector registered, yet they want to continue.

In response, Minister Cole emphasized that they have a continuous basic education programme where students are not kept back in any grade.

She said: "We allow them uninterruptedly that's what the policy says and we have a policy to implement. Even though we could say in abnormal times you may want to shift from what you have laid down as a policy. But in this case, we don't see it as so much of a problem."

According to Madam Cole, they believed with continuous assessment, the results could be used for the transit of students from one grade to another.

Minister Cole further said when these students transit to the next class, the teachers will have to give them additional remedial support in the classes so that they are able to catch up and reach the required level that they are supposed to reach for any grade.

"And that will happen from grade one to grade eight because it should be uninterrupted basic education and that is why we have made every effort to get the grade 9s back because we know grade 9 is a class where you have to do a comprehensive assessment to be able to move to grade 10. And for grade 12 also we are planning because that's another important terminal point," she said.

Asked whether she cannot go against their policy, Madam Cole said they cannot go against their policy, but maybe amend it and keep within the policy.

"For the terminal points we must endeavor to make sure we assess them well. But for the transition classes for basic education, we will use continuous assessment and intensive remedial teaching to be able to promote them," he said.

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