25 C
City of Banjul
Wednesday, September 23, 2020

The crumbling education system

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Dear editor,

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I’m concerned with the decline in the standard of education and the false belief people have that everything is normal.
Many things are wrong in this country but we don’t want to accept. There was a time I heard that some graduates cannot read and write, I’m not sure of that because I’ve never come across such type of graduates. It’s unbelievable but it’s possible. If it’s true, it shows the high level of corruption in the education sector. I will be happy to see people become graduates because this is what the society sees as the determinant of success, even though it’s not (this will be a topic for another day) but I will not be happy seeing graduates that can’t defend the certificates they are holding.

There are instances where lecturers collect bribe from students in order to inflate their grades, some lecturers sleep with their students in order to make them pass their courses. With these happenings, it will be very hard for a student to read hard and get good grades if he/she knows that his/her money or body will do the work, this is the reason why our institutions keep on producing “substandard” graduates who don’t know much about their respective disciplines and can hardly defend their certificate, not to talk of being innovative and creating new ideas.

If you see some so-called graduates, I wonder how they were able to graduate, apart from the spelling errors and grammatical construction, oh! English is just a language and not a measure of intelligence, they say, but it’s still being used at interviews and exams. Forget about English, what of their knowledge that’s acquired, that one too is not available, then of what benefit is it to carry certificates that cannot be defended? Everybody, let me say many people want to be called graduates in order to have that sense of belonging, without being considered with the knowledge.

The education sector needs to be revamped, the right standards need to be set, otherwise things will keep on escalating from bad to worse.

Musa Sissoho
UK

On 22nd July 1994 coup

Dear editor,

July 22nd, 2017 gives us the opportunity for the first time in 23 years to mourn, not glorify, the day our government was hijacked, our constitution overthrown and our liberty assaulted as a people by our own in uniform who swore to protect us, uphold our democratic values and defend our institutions.
July 22nd 1994 was itself a bloodless day but it ushered in a regime of terror that would torment our fellow citizens for 22 years.

We mark this day in serenity and with solemn prayers, reflection, gratitude, hope and commitment. We pay homage to those who did not witness this day but whose selfless efforts contributed to the new democratic dispensation. We reflect on so many things that went wrong, so many lives lost and so many families torn apart and still in pain. The banditry that engulfed our country for nearly a quarter of the century affected all of us. We salute Gambians home and abroad, friends of The Gambia and our allies for the enduring sacrifice and gallantry in restoring democracy in our country. I understand that statements like this are nothing new in our civic discussions but I reiterate it today to remind us all of the trauma and triumph of Gambian people.

Gambia is a nation of upright, dignified and peace-loving people but our experience under Yahya Jammeh showed the limit of these qualities and revealed serious flaws in our society. Jammeh’s 22-year tyranny was aided, sustained and strengthened by the very people and system he abused and oppressed. Some of us have given up honor, mortgaged their values and served as expendable tools of oppression. Many of us celebrated these crimes with pride, insensitivity and ignorance.

As we begin the arduous tasks to rebuild democratic institutions, seek justice, heal, resuscitate our shattered economy and unite the nation, it is also worth reflecting on our actions and omission – individually and collectively- that prolonged the avoidable sufferings in our country.
Thus, we say NEVER AGAIN!

Zakaria Kemo Konteh
Queens, USA

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