Over the last 22 years the country has witnessed remarkable success in the area of provision of basic social amenities such as education, health, public utilities and many others. The education sector alone has undergone remarkable transformation in education especially access to basic and secondary education.
Before the intervention of the current leadership, less than 50% of Gambian children were going to school. In addition to the very few number of schools, the education of Gambian children was severely hampered by the lack of relevant textbooks and other resource materials. However, the present leadership, realising that without a coherent, consistent education and training policy and strategy, our national development objectives would not be attained, formulated a new education policy and action plan that laid great emphasis on basic education; increasing access and quality; expansion of senior secondary education to significantly improve transition rates; closing the gender gap in education; skills training; development of scientific and technological competencies; and strengthening of higher education through the creation of a national university.
Therefore, any effort that is aimed at consolidating those gains would be commended by all well meaning Gambians. The news that The Gambia government has secured a grant of US$8.5 Million for the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education is highly commendable.
As stated by the Ministry of Finance, the grant is earmarked for The Gambia Results for Education Achievement and Development Project (READ) to increase access to basic education, improve quality of teaching and learning in lower basic schools, and strengthen education systems.
It is indeed gratifying that the project will finance the construction of 40 multi-grade schools, cover teachers’ salaries, stipends, and school grants as well as additional support to early child development classrooms to lower basic schools especially in an attempt to strengthen the education system.
We therefore, say congratulations to The Gambia government for once again demonstrating your unqualified commitment to the sustainable development of this country.