At The National Assembly in 2003

Questions and Answers

Hon. Halifa Sallah Member for Serrekunda Central:

Mr. Speaker Sir, would the Secretary of State for Education inform this National Assembly why an Islamic Arabic Teacher who has acquired a diploma from a recognized Islamic University in Saudi Arabia can be an unqualified teacher for 23 years while another teacher in the same area is given a qualified teacher status for going through an in-service training course in The Gambia.

EDUCATION MINISTER’S RESPONSE

Mr. Speaker, Sir teaching is a profession that demands pedagogical skills obtained through  a conventional teacher­ training programme for the enchantment of service delivery at the level of the classroom. Such skills can be acquired in The Gambia through the following.

A  Pre-Service Teacher Training Programme tenable at the Gambia College for candidates who are not within the teaching profession but have met the entry requirement to pursue the programme. The recruitment process is based on merit.

An in-service Teacher Training Programme also tenable at the Gambia College for candidates who are already employed as teachers but wish to upgrade their status from Unqualified to Qualified or  Qualified (PTC) to qualified (HTC). The recruitment process is based on merit and experience

Teachers employed in the system with such requisite skills, obtained from any recognized teacher training institute are recognised by the Department of State for Education as Qualified Teachers. On     the other hand, teachers in the system with Diplomas but no professional training can only be appointed as Unqualified Teachers whilst the ones with degrees devoid of professional qualification can be appointed as Graduate Teachers in Sen1or Secondary Schools

It is for this reason that an Islamic Arabic Teacher who has acquired a Diploma from a recognized Islamic University in Saudi Arabia with 23 years of unqualified teaching experience but no professional training on education can only be an unqualified Teacher while his contemporary with a professional training through an in-service training course can be awarded a qualified Teacher Status.

Sitting of Thursday 28 August 2003

This sitting of Thursday day 28 August 2003 witnessed the passing of the convention creating a foundation for sustainable Development in the Sahel signed by all Heads of State of CILLS member states and the resolution to consent and approve the Decision of the President to Deploy a Peacekeeping Force to Liberia comprising150 men of all ranks.

On The Convention Creating a Foundation For Sustainable Development

In introducing the motion before the National Assembly, SoS Momodou Sallah indicated that the mission of the foundation shall be to assist CILLS in mobilizing additional regular and sustainable financial resources necessary for the achievement of its general mandate in particular:

1        Sound and sustainable management of natural resources (water. land, forests. energy)

2        intensification and diversification of agricultural, livestock and fish productions

3        Development of regional trade m agriculture livestock and fish products

4        Improvement of access to food and basic social services for vulnerable groups/ prevention and management of food crisis

5        Capacity- building of   actors and promotion of good governance of food security and   NRM/DC

6        Steering, coordination, monitoring and conduct of strategic and perspective studies

7        Strengthening and enhancement of scientific and technical activities

8        Intervention in the event of emergency situation resulting from natural disasters

The convention was ratified unanimously. Only Halifa Sallah Member for Serrekunda Central made a contribution. See next issue for his contribution

Sidia’s Speech At the Adjournment Debate 19 – 25 June

In contributing to the adjournment debate Sidia Jatta, Member  for Wuli West asserted that for the interest of the National Assembly  he will move from national fair to  super  national  affair He opined that both ECOWAS  revised  treaties  were  ratified when some of the National Assembly Members were not members.  He highlighted that ECOWAS parliament is making a big move in sensitismg the population of the sub region, of what the whole ECOWAS enterprise is about. He stated that in his view, the National Assembly is a precious ground to start that sensitisation since in the final analysis it is their responsibility to sensitise the population about ECOWAS.  Sidia stated that they are paying to­wards maintaining ECOWAS and in the final analysis, it is the people who are going to elect ECOWAS Parliamentarians like how they are elected today in their National countries. He pointed out that ECOWAS was created in May 1975 by a treaty called the Lagos Treaty. Why ECOWAS? Sidia asked. He asserted that the fundamental objective of the founding fathers is to create collective self-reliance given the fact that the countries are emerging nations from colonialism, and that they had a dilapidated economy and cannot constitute markets in their own way. In their view Sidia said. ECOWAS sub region taking collectively can constitute a viable market, not only that, but it can become a formidable policy for economic forces. Sidia asserted that is why when people talk about alien ID Cards here, it makes him laugh. He stressed that they must know that they ratified documents in this Assembly like the ECOWAS Protocol. He highlighted that in those protocols, it is well stated there, the right of residence and establishment. This would make it possible for a Liberian to come and reside here as if he/she were here according to the protocol. But surprisingly enough he said, in this year’s budget, a measure has been introduced known as alien ID Card Costing about D1000.00 for ECOWAS citizens.

He pointed out that that is contrary to the ECOWAS Protocol which stipulated that you can go to Nigeria and reside there for 90 days without anybody asking you for anything.