Parents are moving about looking for sponsors for their children enrolled in early childhood educational facilities, Basic cycle schools, both lower and Upper, Senior Secondary Schools as well as tertiary institutions such as the GTTI, MDI and the University of the Gambia.
The ratio of pupils and students per government schools need to be known and the cost involved before one could actually explain whether education is free or not. There are many early childhood education goers who have to go to private schools or sit at home because of the absence of government schools.
In many countries where there is universal, free and compulsory education, the state provides education to all within its capacity. Private schools often attract those who can afford their services and are dissatisfied with the public schools. Hence their charges do not prevent all students from benefiting from free education. Attending private schools become a matter of choice and affordability.
However , in countries where the public sector does not provide enough schools and the private sector is needed to provide the extra facilities, many people could be deprived of education because of the inadequacy of public schools and the cost of private schools.
Government could only address the problem of cost by giving grants to private schools to offer services to children the public sector could not cater for. Government needs to table these issues for discussion before making pronouncement on free education.