On the teachers’ sit-down strike

Since Monday last, children have been going to school and leaving empty handed [or empty headed to be more precise] because their teachers are on a sit-down strike. A large segment of the teachers in the Gambia is demanding a range of issues from government before they go back into the classroom. Their demands range from pay rise to hardship allowance, timely payment of salaries and so on.

These teacher protestors claim that they have contacted the Gambia Teachers’ Union to raise these concerns to the relevant authorities in the government. The GTU is claiming that they have taken the concerns of the teachers to the ministry but that negotiations are ongoing.

This looks like a communication gap which is being manifested as a strike. The strike is harming and affecting Gambian children as they are losing a lot of contact hours. There are children who are in grade nine and twelve who are supposed to write their external exams this year. This will certainly affect them and may cause the rate of failure to increase.

The government should have acted more swiftly to avoid the standoff reaching this stage. Children not going to school, or not receiving the education they need and deserve, is a disaster of huge proportion. No government should ever allow this type of thing to happen if they could have been avoided by simply entering into dialogue to resolve the issue.

There has been a serious breach in communication and whoever is responsible simply ignored the fact that the problem could reach a stage where the teachers would sit at home and not go to school. They should have taken prompt action and engage the aggrieved party in dialogue.

This situation needs to be addressed as soon as possible so that the teachers can go back into the classroom before a permanent damage is caused.

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  1. I am very much disappointed by the action of this teacher, is very sad to see teacher to a thing like this, after just one year of what we all witness in the pass. The dictatorship, political impasse and the atrocities committed by Jammeh administration. I think is very early for teacher to even think of a thing like this talkless of having the spirit to carry out a thing like this. My dear brothers and sister , where is our love for our beloved Gambia? I believe we should have Gambia in our heart, not anywhere else. Is too early to be honest to put pressure on the new administration, let’s give them time to settle and do things in the right way. Let’s us to misinterprete our newly found democracy, democracy does not mean doing what you want but simply love your country and your people. This are issues that are there for the past 20 or more years, they are never address , so let give the new administration the time to address this issues. I am appealing to teachers on behalf the innocent children who always look at the as role model and as parents to go back to school and teach the children, their needs will be address with time if God wish.

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