Prominent lawyer Edward Gomez over the weekend returned to his native community of Fula Bantang in the Central River Region where according to him, he was born and enrolled in the early days of the mission school in the early 1950s. Chief Justice Hassan Jallow, a native of Fulladu was also invited to inspire a graduating class of students.
Speaking as guest speaker at the historic graduation of 42 students who successfully completed grade 12 education in the village, Gomez said his father Anthony Gomez together with the pioneers of the mission school such as Father White and Maloney built the school. He said he owed a debt of gratitude to Fula Bantang for molding him into a responsible citizen. The veteran lawyer used the opportunity to disclose to the audience his long career serving in the police and judiciary. He urged the students to strive hard despite the prevailing circumstances to pursue advanced education by all means available.
Chief Justice Hassan Jallow said he was pleased to be invited as chief guest of honour marking the first graduation of Grade 12 students in Fula Bantang. “The twelve grade may only have reached Fula Bantang relatively recently but modern education is no stranger to this community,” he said, pointing out that the school was established in 1936 and has been the springboard for many Gambians who have proceeded to higher levels of education and for many who have become well-respected and productive citizens of this country.
He urged for more investment in education in the country and exhorted that Prophet Muhammad enjoined all to seek education from the furthest ends of the earth, “from as far as even China”.
The Alkalo of Fula Bantang, Mahamadou Borry Dem urged parents to continue sending their children to school, noting that if children are not sent to school, their chances in life will be limited.
The current and former principals, John Jatta and Kebba Sanyang, recalled the major challenges they encountered in expanding the school from a junior to senior school. They acknowledged help from paid associations like GambiaRising.
Prizes were conferred on a number of students for their efforts in putting up good grades in certain subjects. Saratou Baldeh emerged as the best among a batch of 42 students.