By MUHAMMED SAILU BAH
Stakeholders from the education sector and partners have validated the Gambia’s Education Policy for the next fifteen years (2016-2030) at the five days national conference which concluded on Friday, 16 October 2015, at the Sun swing Hotel.
The discussions during the conference have centred around putting greater emphasis on the improvement of Early Childhood Development (ECD), Promoting the usage of local languages in the Nursery and Primary schools from grade 1-4 to be used as a medium of communication for better understanding of pupils in schools, the importance of access and quality education, as well as the improvement of Technical Vocational Educational Centers and provision of good personal health in the education system, among others.
In his closing statement, Dr. Abubacarr Senghore, the Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, noted that participants during the five days have added great value to what he described as “a very important and critical conference”.
Minister Senghore underscored the importance of the participation of people from the rural areas as well as the National Assembly Members.
He said it is important for the National Assembly Members to be involved in the policy formulation process in order to become acquainted with issues before they reach them.
Minister Senghore hailed the ministry of basic and secondary education (MoBSE) for the participatory approach it adopts in the formulation of the Education Policy.
In her remark, Fatou Lamin Faye, the Minister of Basic and Secondary Education, describes the conference as historic and very relevant.
“It was the general view of participants that we needed to move faster in some of the areas, notably in the area of decentralization of educational services which cannot happen in the absence of Government’s overall decentralization program,” said the basic and secondary education minister.
Madam Faye assured the participants that all these identified areas will be further discussed and taken up before embarking on the implementation of the policy being formulated.
The basic and secondary education minister reminded the gathering the country’s commitments to the MDGS as the transition to the new agenda of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
She concluded by thanking everybody who in one way or the other contributed toward the success of the conference.
The event was chaired by Mr. Baboucar Buoye, the MOBSE Permanent Secretary, while the vote of thanks was delivered by Mr. OusmanYabo, Executive Director TANGO.