By Cherno Omar Bobb
Marie Antoinette Corr, General Secretary of the Gambia Teachers Union has called on the government of the Gambia to prioritize education in its support mechanisms, most especially during these trying moments.
Ms Corr made these remarks on Wednesday at the Regional Education Directorate in Basse during the commemoration of the Global Action Week for Education (GAWE) by Education for all Campaign Network – The Gambia (EFANet) in collaboration with its partners.
She recalled that in 2015, the member states of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) committed to provide free equitable primary and secondary education and to ensure that all children have access to quality early childhood education and affordable quality technical vocational and higher education. She said the government of the Gambia also committed to increase the number of qualified teachers to ensure that educators are empowered, adequately recruited, well trained, professionally qualified, motivated and supported within well-resourced, efficiently and effectively governed systems.
Therefore, Ms Corr urged the government to fulfill its commitment to ensuring improved working conditions and status of teachers.
“The government must ensure that teachers are well prepared and well supported,” she said.
She highlighted that without qualified teachers, there would be no quality education, adding that, pre-service and in-service training are crucial, as are good working conditions, to commensurate with remuneration and adequate career development opportunities.
She further called on government to improve the quality of teaching through adequate recruitment, remuneration and continued teacher training.
“The governments must recognize that investing in teachers is a wise investment in our efforts to build strong economics, cohesive societies and a future of dignity and opportunity for all,” she further remarked.
Ms Corr paid tribute to teachers who are working with passion and skill to nurture their students and whose influence on the country she said is potentially profound.
The theme for this year’s GAWE is ‘Education Financing’ with emphasis on the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4, which is quality education.
She expressed her office’s commitment to working progressively with all stakeholders to ensure every child must have a well-motivated, well qualified and highly professional teachers.