By Momodou Darboe
The loss of teacher-student contact hours as a result of Covid-19 pandemic will directly affect over 600,000 school-going children in nursery, primary and secondary schools in all regions of The Gambia.
The Minister of Education, Claudiana Cole, made this disclosure on Wednesday whilst responding to questions by deputies at the National Assembly in Banjul.
Since March of this year, schools in the country have remained shut as part of measures to prevent the spread of Covid-19 but the education minister said the government has now designed ingenuous ways of salvaging the loss time engendered by the school shut-downs.
“The ministry, bearing in mind the loss of contact hours will directly affect about 674,300 students in conventional and recognized Madrassa schools as well as for any childhood education development to senior secondary schools, opted for a distance learning to mitigate the loss of instructional hours. We have made it clear however that this doesn’t replace the normal curriculum,” she told deputies.
Ms. Cole explained that as part of its recovery efforts for the lost instructional hours, the ministry of education will, among other interventions, extend school days or week, paying attention to double shifting when applicable intensive and extensive classes for examination classes to recover loss time with option of rescheduling examination dates.
“We will also reschedule the curriculum delivery plan, strengthen the monitoring of implementation the recovery strategy through cluster monitors who visit our schools regularly,” she outlined.