The results of the West Africa Senior School Certificate Examinations have recently been released showing that more than ninety-five percent of the candidates could not meet university requirement which is five credits, including English and Maths.
This is a cause for concern as it is only through education (relevant education) that we can hope to develop our country and pull the masses of our people from the abject poverty and want that has been their lot since independence. There is a need for a national discourse on this as we have to – we cannot afford not to – find solutions to theses problems.
The first thing to interrogate is the relevance of our education to our national development needs. Education is the vehicle by which we can transport ourselves to progress and development. The education system should produce patriotic Gambians who are skilled in different fields so that they can work for the advancement of the country.
No nation should – or can – depend on outsiders to develop it. All over the world, people work to improve their lives and livelihoods and by so doing, develop their country. Looking at our country, one can easily see that majority – if not all – the skilled labour is being done by non-Gambians. It is not that Gambians cannot do these jobs, but the orientation is lacking.
Government through the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education should initiate a national discourse on education. It should make use of the University of The Gambia to find out the type of education that we need; education which is relevant to our developmental aspirations. In this manner, we will diagnose the problem; for, it is only then that we can hope to find solutions.
Government should therefore take the lead and interrogate the education system with a view to finding practical solutions.