By Olimatou Coker
Marie Antoinette Corr-Jack, the general secretary of The Gambia Teachers’ Union (GTU) has called on the government to be committed to increase the number of qualified teachers to ensure that educators are empowered, adequate, well-trained, professionally qualified, motivated, and supported within a well-resourced efficient and effectively governed systems.
Mrs Corr-Jack made these remarks recently during the 2021 Global Action Week for Education (GAWE) organised by Education For All Campaign Network (Efanet) The Gambia together with members and partners at a commemoration held at the Regional Education Directorate in Basse, Upper River Region.
The theme for this year’s GAWE is education financing. It’s a call of support for the full implementation of the full Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 4, which asks for governments to increase the education budget to 20% of public expenditure.
GAWE is commemorated every year to remind world leaders of the promises made in the Dakar Framework for Action in the year 2000 to meet the Education For All (EFA) goals and SDG4. “We urge government to fulfill its commitment to ensure improved working conditions and the status of teachers. The government must ensure that teachers are well prepared and well supported.”
Mrs Corr-Jack stated that without qualified teachers, there would be no quality education.
“I pay tribute to our teachers who are working with passion and skills to nurture their students and whose influence on our country is profound. The government must recognise that investing in teacher is a wise investment in our efforts to build strong economies, cohesive societies, and a future of dignity and opportunity for all,” she reminded.
Mrs Corr-Jack appealed to government to prioritise education in its support mechanisms, especially during these trying moments. “The entire Gambia Teachers’ Union 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 teacher,” she said.
Musukuta Komma-Bah, ChildFund The Gambia county director, said achieving national education goals will require additional financial commitment over the coming years. No less important is ensuring that these resources are used effectively by reducing spending inefficiencies common in many education systems, she concluded.