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Friday, December 1, 2023

Re: reaction to Editorial of your Wednesday 20 September 2023 Edition

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Dear Editor,

The Management of the Banjul Office of West African Examinations Council (WAEC) took note of your editorial of Wednesday, September 20, 2023 edition, entitled “WASSCE Results.”

While the Management of the Office welcomes the generally positive tenor of the editorial which is a call to awareness of and action against examination malpractice, we however, observed some inaccuracies which we have deemed necessary to correct.

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In the second paragraph of the editorial, you wrote: “This year, Gambian Schools are receiving the results a little later than the neighboring countries like Ghana and Nigeria.

Please not that Ghana are yet to release results of WASSCE(SC)2023. Of all the member countries of West African Examinations Council only Nigeria and Liberia released results ahead of The Gambia.

Then in the third paragraph you wrote:

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“When these concerns were raised, it was reported that the West African Examinations Council was conducting an investigation into how some of the question papers were leaked on WhatsApp groups prior to the children sitting to the examination. “

The Banjul Office denies that there was ever a report, written or oral, to the effect that the results were delayed because of an investigation that was on course into leakage of question papers. Maybe you meant, “it was rumoured.”

Please note that the Banjul Office of the Council, like all other offices of the Council in the subregion, works in close collaboration with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education and apprises that Ministry of all developments relating to the conduct of examinations and the processing of results.


The West African Examinations Council

Rebuilding the Smiling Coast of Africa: A call for unity and healing in The Gambia

In a land where diversity once thrived, where the smiles of its people were contagious, The Gambia now bears the burden of hatred and blame. Our beloved motherland, once known as the Smiling Coast of Africa, deserves better. It is time for us to come together, to heal the wounds of division, and to restore the unity that defines us. Let us pause and reflect on the beauty of our past, and envision a brighter future for our nation.

The Gambia has always been a tapestry of cultures, languages, and traditions woven seamlessly together. Our diversity has been our strength, a testament to our resilience and adaptability. We have embraced each other’s differences, creating a vibrant society that weaves our individual threads into a bigger, more vibrant whole. It is this sense of unity that we must rekindle.

Sadly, in recent times, our nation has grown apart. We’ve become entangled in a web of resentment, hatred, and blame. Political discord has fueled animosity, and our once harmonious communities have transformed into battlegrounds of differing opinions. But the time for pointing fingers is over; instead, let us turn to each other with open hearts and open minds.

Forgiveness is a balm that can soothe even the deepest wounds. Let us remember that we are all, first and foremost, Gambians. Our shared history, our aspirations, and our dreams for a better future bind us together. We need to let go of past grievances, to forgive and to seek forgiveness. It is only through forgiveness that we can rebuild the bridges that have been torn apart and nurture a newfound sense of togetherness.

The blame game has only fanned the flames of division. We must learn to communicate openly and honestly with one another. A culture of blame breeds resentment and intensifies the rifts within our society. Instead, let us approach each other with empathy and understanding. By engaging in meaningful dialogue, we can find solutions that benefit everyone and move forward as a united people.

Imagine, dear compatriots, a Gambia where unity is not just a memory but a living reality. A Gambia where the smiles that once defined us are etched upon the faces of every citizen. Let our diversity be the spark that reignites our collective spirit. Let us redefine what it means to be Gambian – a people rooted in love, acceptance, and respect.

The journey of rebuilding the Smiling Coast starts with every one of us. It begins with acknowledging our shared responsibility to heal, to forgive, and to forge a path forward. Let us lay down the burdens of hatred and blame and uplift each other instead. Together, we can reclaim our beloved motherland, restoring its noble title as the Smiling Coast of Africa. United, we will overcome the challenges that divide us, and our diversity will shine as a beacon of hope for the entire continent.

Remember, dear compatriots, it is not too late to make a difference. Let love be our guide, compassion our strength, and unity our legacy. Together, we can transform our nation into a land of renewed smiles, a land where the vibrancy of our diversity is once again celebrated. Rejoice, for a brighter future awaits us all, and it begins with each and every one of us.

Yusupha ‘Major’ Bojang


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