By Ndey Sowe
The Gambia Teachers Union Young Teachers Platform (GTUYTP) has Thursday, 5th August, 2021 convened its first General Assembly (AG) at a local hotel in Senegambia.
The General Assembly was meant to promote new executive as well as promote the welfare and interest of young teachers. The Young Teachers Platform (YTP) was created to complement the efforts and activities of teachers groups, particularly the young teachers who form the bulk of the profession. Members say the creation of the platform fulfill a constitutional provision of the Gambia Teachers Union (GTU), which is the umbrella body of the Gambia teachers.
The theme for the AG was: “Enhancing youth participation for leadership and good governance.” At the event, a new and first executive was formed, guidelines developed and ratified to establish the structures and form policy to empower young teachers.
Ismaila A.S Ceesay, President of Gambia Teachers Union (GTU), said GTU has been in existence for 84 years and the union has undergone radical reorganization reforms both at the level of National Executive Committee (NEC) and the secretariat.
As such, President Ceesay said the need for greater participation, increased sense of ownership and more importantly, action is eminent and the advent of the YTP will not only help to consolidate their efforts, but sustain the gains.
“The emergence of the YTP is apt, taking into consideration that more than 65% of the teaching population of the country is under the youth bracket,” Ceesay remarked.
“Your presence here today is a powerful reflection of our collective desire to see a positive change, through an effective and progressive response to our collective action to advance the involvement of young teachers in union leadership,” said Marie Antoinette Corr-Jack, the Secretary General GTU.
Corr-Jack added that YTP was established to serve and champion the interest of young teachers, saying young people are not only the future of the union but the present heartbeat of the union. Thus, she said there is need to allow them to be in leadership roles.
Louis Moses Mendy, Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) disclosed that a nation that wants to develop should shape her future through a better education system.
“As an individual, your actions today will give birth to your tomorrow that you will live in and whatever you do today or the decisions you take today will be the welfare you find yourself tomorrow,” PS Mendy added.
Mendy challenged the YTP to be focused, have ideas, make resolutions and have consistency to achieve a young and vibrant YTP for a better teacher’s welfare.
Adama K. Baldeh, Vice Chairperson Young Teachers Platform, said establishing the YTP as an interim committee was a hard task in laying the organ during the National Delegate Congress in 2019.
“The journey was challenging but finally success has been registered. This is a great milestone in the history of GTU for establishing an organ that will ensure the full representation of the young people by empowering them to participate and contribute to the welfare of teachers,” Baldeh said.