Wednesday, March 22

President Barrow emphasises positive role of education –

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

By Musa S. Sheriff

Gambian President Adama Barrow has emphasised that education is a positive and strong contributor to the development of a nation.

Mindful of this, he said his government continues to make interventions not only to “domesticate” and implement international education goals and targets, but also to reassess and restructure the education system.

This is with the objective of promoting a democratic, vibrant, and progressive economy that would enhance improved living standards for all citizens.

He made the remarks at the formal opening of the 71st annual council meeting of the West African Examinations Council at the Kairaba Beach Hotel on Tuesday.

According to the Gambian leader, one policy decision in force is maintaining a free education scheme for all students at the Basic and Secondary levels.

With this, the Government bears fully the expenditure linked to staff emoluments, establishment of school facilities, and providing teaching and learning materials from the nursery school level up to the senior secondary level.

“To ease teaching and learning activities through the availability of basic educational materials, we have instituted the School Improvement Grant initiative. This is a fund managed by School Heads to procure consumables and other specified materials. All they have to do is to render themselves accountable to their school boards for the sums of money they spend, thus removing bureaucratic bottlenecks,” President Barrow pointed out.

He said the government, through the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, is revising the school curriculum.

An important outcome of this exercise is the introduction of Civic Education at the senior secondary school level to instil greater citizenship awareness, patriotism and a deeper sense of nationalism.

He said another development is the increase in the number of examinable subjects for the West African Senior School Certificate Examination.

These subjects are grouped into programme areas to ensure that the learning and teaching process is student-centered and geared towards continuous learning and development.

President Barrow reaffirmed Gambia’s resolve to continue working with the other Member Countries in the bid to partner with the Council for the delivery of high quality education to our people.

He said the government has commenced the payment of all arrears owed to the WAEC Headquarters adding that efforts will continue to assist the Gambia Office of WAEC by providing equipment and materials to enhance the smooth conduct of valid and reliable examinations.

President Barrow said the continuing frequency of examination malpractice in examination centres within the region remains a major cause for concern, as it poses a threat to public confidence in our examination system.

He urged WAEC to find “effective ways” of addressing this menace with the collaboration of all stakeholders, particularly the examiners, candidates, teachers, and parents.