By Cherno Omar Bobb
The National Executive Committee of The Gambia Teachers’ Union (GTU) has called on the Government of The Gambia to invest in them and prioritize them in education recovery efforts so that every learner has access to a qualified and supported teacher.
The GTU made these remarks in a statement as part of activities marking World Teachers Day. The theme for this year’s World Teachers Day is Teachers at The Heart of Education Recovery.
World Teachers Day (WTD) is celebrated annually on 5th October, and GTU said the day is an important event for the entire educational community to celebrate the teaching profession and to promote the ILO/UNESCO recommendations concerning the Status of Higher Education Teaching Personnel (1997) complimented by the ILO Policy Guidelines on the Promotion of Decent Work for Early Childhood Education Personnel (2014).
GTU through it General Secretary Marie Antoinette Corr said: “A successful education recovery calls for investment in more teachers and in training and professional development opportunities, so that educators may enrich their practice and gain the skills to integrate and use educational technologies effectively to support learning and adapt to a diversity of learners’ needs.”
She stated that, “Now is the time to recognize the exceptional role teachers play and to empower them with the training, professional development, support, and working conditions they need to deploy their talent,” adding: “This is a time of challenge but also an opportunity for rapid transformation to address the unfulfilled needs which have been multiplied by the pandemic.”
GTU congratulated the entire teaching fraternity in commemoration of World Teachers Day.
She also said that it is nearly two years since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, but many education systems are still facing significant disruptions.
“The pandemic has shone a light on the irreplaceable value of the teaching profession in society but also on the difficult working conditions facing many teachers,” she went on, noting that teachers have been on the frontlines to ensure learning continuity when schools were closed and to provide socio-emotional support to their students, especially the most vulnerable ones.
“Today we celebrate the exceptional dedication and courage of all teachers, as well as their capacity to adapt and innovate under very challenging and uncertain conditions. They are at the heart of global education recovery efforts and are key in accelerating progress towards inclusive, equitable, and quality education for every learner, in every circumstance,” she concluded.