Women weekly: Janet A. Mansal A Teacher Par Excellence
Thursday, February 19, 2009
In this weeks edition the women's weekly columnist met up with Janet A Mansal, the desk officer of the Gambia Teachers Union Women's Wing at her office at MDI Road, Kanifing.
Janet .A. Mansal, a 48 year old, was born and brought up at Kafuta Village, Kombo East, Western Region. Described as a teacher by profession, taught for 19 years in almost all the regions in the country.
In an interview with Women's Weekly, she disclosed that, she started her schooling at St. John's Veyani at Bullock village in Foni and later proceeded to St Joseph High School in Banjul. According to her, from St. Joseph's, she taught at St Therese's Primary School for one year and from there she went to the college and was among the first batch, that started The Gambia College at Brikama, and that was in 1982. She added that, after her graduation, she was posted at Region 4 (now Region 6).
Getting back to the abyss of her educational background, Mrs Mansal revealed that it was not difficult for her parents to pay her school fees especially during her Primary School education which at those days required a little amount of money, but she was quick to say that when she was at St. Joseph's, she was lucky to be given a Swedish scholarship.
Mrs Janet .A. Mansal, now the desk officer of the GTU women's wing, in her term of reference, develop proposal on behalf of the women's wing, coordinate and implement the programmes and activities of the wing, submit narrative reports to the office of the General Secretary on the activities that are carried out. "In general I promote the welfare of the female teachers and students", she stated.
Mrs Mansal further indicated that the morale of the female teachers is strong, describing them as hardworking and dedicated to their job. She further described the women of The Gambia as wonderful women. Nowadays, she said, the kitchen is not the only place for the woman, as we can see them excelling in all positions. "They are no more staying as housewives as you know; we have the Vice President, Secretaries of State, Speaker of the National Assembly, and so on. We are no more left behind; I encourage them to keep up the good spirit".
When asked what she like or disliked, she has this to say: "I like being friendly to people and I like being praised or encouraged when I do the right thing. I like to give advice to people but I don't like to be talking about negatively especially if it is not the truth about me. For my fellow female teachers, I am advising them to keep struggling academically. Let them try to put up academically, education does not fool anybody because you can be any one in the future, thank God that they are now venturing in the college and the university."
She concluded by urging female teachers to help develop the country. They should, she emphasised, be educated. "For the students, I am advising them to be serious with their education, grab every opportunity that come through their way because the government has prepared a brighter future for them and let them make the books their friends but not materials because they have a lot in the future."
Author: by Mariatou Ngum-Saidy