Many people couldn’t stomach what they saw the other day from the Presidential tour. The recent videos from the president’s tour revealed a very serious issue about the current education system and confirms that many high school graduates are not up to challenge of a classic college curriculum or —are ready to enter the workforce. Some of whom were quizzed about government barely knew about structures in our government or could barely correctly name anything. Well, what do you expect from the constant firing and hiring of officials a daily?
In all honesty, everyone believes that something must be done to improve the schools in Gambia, but they’ll avoid saying what that “something” is. The truth is —what is happening on our education system is an example of what happens when one man dictates everything and is regarded as the solution to every problem.
We all agree that the fear-mongering rhetoric we heard from that loose lip that sink Gambia have no place in the halls of our schools. That said, there was a perfect teaching moment for the regime to learn a lesson from the fundamental flaws and weakness in the current education system as a result of their policy mistakes — that failed our kids to step confidently into the world on their own.
There’s a growing belief of our once cherished education curriculum is virtually degraded when measured from head to toe across a dozen measures ranging from WAEC scores to IQS. Gambians are very smart people, but the current administration in Gambia, has to correct its education ills. Development of our education system is much more important that structural buildings in the sense that it guarantees a young man or woman— a solid technical education as the foundation of a prosperous working life.
Many of the old methods of rote learning basics in primary or high schools have been abandoned. Many lessons which were once taught has gone missing in many primary and high schools due to lack of funds or books to teach our children. Schools that once had free lunch programs called “Food time” have been discontinued. I remember when I was in primary school, radio Gambia use to have a program for school children around 1 O clock PM. Many high schools or UTG graduates have an inadequate English comprehensive grasp to express themselves or let alone write anything. So many schools no longer teach the skills, like writing a coherent sentence or correctly adding fractions, to prepare the young to be effective members of society. The traditional Gambia College education that once provided a bedrock of knowledge for teachers has been discarded in current UTG for academic fads. For example, a student can graduate without able to write or express themselves let alone knowing anything that happened more than a week ago.
It is crucial to revamp our education system because whatever is now taught in Gambia now, is not effective as it should be to guide and prepare our young people for universities, technical skills for useful livelihood and —a comfortable life. This requires restoring some fundamentals that have been lost along the way. If the ministry of education isn’t staff by highly experience people whom are very dedicated to their profession, there will be a high probability the erudite educational philosophies will be disregarded. Having more qualified teachers for the classroom to provide more one-on-one instruction might well help, but it’s not the most needed improvement.
Teachers in Gambia should be brisk and bold challenge to the political correctness that is strangling the education system politics and made the full-throated challenge to the rubber stamp parliament to necessary funding required for our school systems.
We are all sad indeed that Gambia will be populated by graduates who can’t express themselves clearly, understand what democracy is about or even take care of their family. So Yaya Jammeh, you made sure your kids got best education in the world in private schools in USA.
As for Gambians, you don’t care. You didn’t stop there but you are out there to misinform them and make sure no one is well-rounded as your kids. The APRC regime should ensure that strong Education foundation should be a human right for every Gambian child. The next Administration or Government has a lot more work on their hands.
Written By Habib ( A Concerned Gambian)