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Saturday, September 23, 2023

Gov’t urged to allocate 20% of national budget to education


By Olimatou Coker

Ismaila Ceesay, president of the Gambia Teachers Union, has urged the government to allocate at least 20percent of the country’s national budget to education.

Mr Ceesay made the call last week during the GTU Ladies Society (GTULaS) national women’s Caucus held at the Paradise Suites Hotel.

Addressing the congress on the theme, ‘invest in education for quality service delivery: promoting responsive gender-based budgeting,’ Ceesay said education is the foundation of any society, adding that investing in education is crucial for the development of any community.

“It is equally important to ensure that our investments are gender responsive and promote equity and equality,” he said.

Ceesay said as of 2020, The Gambia allocated only around 15percent of its national budget to education, falling short of the regional benchmarks.

“By increasing the education budget, The Gambia can conform to the regional standards and demonstrate its commitment to improving education outcomes.

“Also, by increasing the education budget, The Gambia can ensure that all citizens have access to quality education, irrespective of their socioeconomic backgrounds,” he added.

He added that increasing education funding will help address the significant challenges faced by the Gambian education system.

“The Gambia currently faces issues such as overcrowded classrooms, inadequate infrastructure, insufficient teaching materials, and a shortage of well-trained teachers. These challenges hinder the quality of education and limits access to learning opportunities. By allocating more resources to education, The Gambia can address these issues and create a conducive learning environment for all students, thus improving educational outcomes,” he added.

Marie Antoinette Corr, the general secretary of the GTU said women in education have the power to uplift young girls and break gender norms.

“We want to reiterate our commitment to working progressively with all stakeholders to ensure that the aspirations of teachers become a reality. We aspire that every child must have a well-motivated, well qualified and highly professional teachers,” she said.

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