The Gambian leader, President Adama Barrow has informed deputies at the National Assembly that the country continues to make impressive gains on students' enrolment at all levels of the basic education sector.
Barrow made this statement on Thursday as he presided over the official opening of the 2021 State Of the Nation Address (SONA) at the National Assembly Chambers in Banjul.
The event was attended by the Chief Justice of The Gambia, cabinet ministers, diplomatic corps, governors, local authorities and a cross-section of community.
According to President Barrow, gross enrolment has improved by 5.2 % at the Lower Basic School level, 2.4 % at the Upper Basic School level and 1.6 % at Senior Secondary School level.
"Early Childhood Development (ECD) is above the National Development Plans (NDP) thus the target of 50.2 % and 52.9 % by 4 % for male and female enrolment respectively. Through MoBSE, my Government is partnering positively with the World Bank, MRC Holland Foundation and other philanthropists to improve access to quality education in the country."
He thus highlighted that through such partnerships, 2173 new classrooms were completed within four years, further announcing that plans are in the offing to complete more schools by end of December 2021.
Barrow equally told deputies that from 2017 to date, MoBSE has renovated 1389 additional classrooms, built 2505 school toilets across the country.
He also promised that over hundred more toilets will be completed by December 2021.
He reiterated that since teacher motivation and welfare contribute to better performance, 836 rooms for teacher accommodation were built countywide.
"Hopefully, the number will increase to 1000 and 2000 are due for completion by the end of December 2021. Concerning the Zero Out-of-School children endeavor, MoBSE is working with Education Above All Foundation in Qatar and the Office of the First Lady to combat the out-of-School phenomenon. Similarly, we continue to put more focus on Special Needs and Inclusive Education to attain quality education for all." he stated.
The Gambian leader revealed that MoBSE registered substantial improvement on the 2020/2021 Gambia Basic Education Certificate Examination (GABECE) and West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE).
He then commended MoBSE officials for the improvement and encouraged the teaching force to strive harder for the betterment of the country.
MoBSE created new positions in various cadres and effected mass promotions based on merit which President Barrow described as part of the sector's efforts to motivate and reward performance of their personnel.