By Omar Bah
The principal of Soma Upper and Senior Secondary School, Ousman Jarju has said that the lack of inadequate science teaching equipment is affecting the performance of his school against some of the best schools in the country.
“Believe me if I was able to have all the necessary materials I need for my science class, I would compete all the so-called great schools in the country. What I lack in my school is materials and motivation for my teachers, compare to other schools in Kombo,” he told The Standard in an exclusive interview recently.
He said the authorities should realise that science is just as important as learning other subjects like mathematics and history.
“Because the subject is so vast, learning the basics right from your early learning days will enable you to decide whether you want to pursue a higher education in the subject or not. But in Gambia we have very little respect for the subject I must admit,” he said.
He said most of his students who passed the grade nine exams last year couldn’t stay in the school because they wanted to do science, adding: “There was nothing I can do to avert that, simply because we don’t have the materials needed to teach science”.
“You know very well you cannot teach science in school without the needed materials. Because of that I couldn’t convince my last year’s graduates to stay, it was not easy with me, but there was nothing I could do about it,” he lamented.
He said if the authorities equip schools in the provinces with good teachers and adequate materials, the issue of students migrating to the Kombos will stop. “I see no reason why government should build countless schools without any proper equipment”.
“I believe the President Adama Barrow administration should ensure that, they help some of these schools. The then administration was only interested in building structures, but not quality,” he said.
He said some of the parents are also not aware of the recent education system, saying “I believe the way forward is for the ministry of education to ensure that they also talk to these parents”.
“This year I took the challenge to start with only two science students and I want to do everything within my powers to ensure that they get what they want,” he concluded.