Education Ministry willing to dialogue provided schools comply

By Sailu Bah

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry Basic and Secondary Education has indicated their willingness to dialogue with the authorities of the shuttered schools, Brikama Methodist Upper and Senior Secondary Schools and Longman Memorial Lower Basic School, provided they would comply with the Education Policy.

PS Baboucarr Bouy said in an interview in his office on Tuesday, 25thNovember 2014, that the policy document, which they provided to all schools during the last academic year, has states that all schools should cater for religious studies for pupils but that the concerned schools are not willing to introduce the teaching of Islamic Studies in their respective institutions. He said they therefore have violated the Education Policy.

“This is the law of the land and should be abided by all schools. On Several occasions, we have notified the schools to teach Islamic Studies. We even sent Islamic teachers to them but they were sent away by the school authorities,” said PS Bouy.

When asked where the fate of the 900 students who are in these schools stands, the PS said the Ministry would be taking care of all the students who are affected, particularly those who are in grades 9 and 12.

Mr. Bouy said the Ministry has given a timeline for the authorities of the two schools to comply with the Education Policy and failing which the ministry would intervene to take care of the students.

On when this said timeline is due, the PS responded this is not a matter for the public but that they would be going by it.

When asked whether he has received any letter from the concerned school authorities on the issue, he responded in the negative, adding that he only received a letter from a concerned parent. He said the matter is not for the Ministry to be discussing with the parents, but for the school authorities to comply with the policy.

Foroyaa has been informed that yesterday the schools subsequently delivered a letter to the Ministry.