By Tabora Bojang
Students of Sami Karantaba Upper Basic and Senior Secondary schools staged a protest at the school demanding for more teachers.
The striking students are anxious that lack of teachers for relevant subjects will affect them.
The students posted pictures of the protest in which they could be seen holding placards reading “we want government, history, English and Home Science teachers. We are in Grade 12”.
The students said they are protesting to draw attention to the acute shortage of teachers in the school and want government to take urgent action.
One of them, a Grade 12 student, told The Standard that the strike would last until the demands of the general students are addressed by the Ministry.
“We plan to continue this peaceful strike until our problems are solved. For today it is only Grade 12 but soon the whole school will follow because without teachers no effective learning can take place.
Since the return from the Covid-19 break, students have been suffering a lot and no education officers have bothered to visit the school to check on the situation here,” one student lamented.
The students also denounced the removal of one Mr. Sambou, an influential teacher said to have left for Bansang Upper and Senior Secondary School.
The Standard contacted the regional education director, Paul Mendy who confirmed that there has been scarcity of teachers in the school but “the Ministry is doing everything to address the matter.”
He rejected claims that the students were on a strike, saying ‘it was just a ploy to draw the attention of the people. It did not even last more than 5 minutes. They just gathered and made photos to draw public attention. How can you stage a protest for 5 minutes? Yes, it is true that we have subjects without specific teachers but other teachers are stepping in to ensure that effective learning continues. The ministry has done a lot to attract teachers to go to the provinces, but how many Gambians are willing to be posted there?” Mendy lamented.