The teaching profession has been widely regarded as noble due to its significant contribution in national development. It will forever remain one of the most crucial undertakings in any nation building process; hence, the need to pay glowing tribute to the teachers of our generation, as a matter of pride.
Twenty-three years ago, The Gambia was excruciatingly feeling the pinch of lack of qualified teachers – a disheartening circumstance that seemed to shadow the prospect of the National Education System.
As the 1993 Daily Observer article titled ‘Give Thanks for Our Best Teachers’ puts it: “The Government is struggling with inadequate trained personnel and financial resources to extend as well as to reform and improve the education system. There are many strains and stresses, and many complaints,” the article further read. “But we have just reached the end of the school year; and perhaps we ought to remind ourselves that despite all the shortcomings in our education system, going to school is a success story for many children.”
However, the fundamental reforms in our National Education System advanced by the Second Republic have effectively catapulted the teaching industry in a way that is not only attractive, but vibrant and highly respected.
The two Education ministries have today made our National Education System well organised and recognised. The system tries to avert duplication of responsibilities, whereas enhancing unshakable relative cordiality in their day-to-day running of a more vibrant education system.
It’s evident that today this circumstance has remarkably improved with even greater pace, thanks to the advent of the University of The Gambia (UTG), which many have viewed as the greatest achievement of the July 22nd Revolution.
In addition, the Gambia College’s proven record of training teachers has now seen more effective surge than ever in terms of trained personnel, coupled with the streaming efforts demonstrated by the School of Education at the University of The Gambia.
These collaborative efforts are transforming the teaching industry from the profession highly viewed before as peculiar to the sons and daughters of farmers and the poor. Today, the profession has gone beyond that notion and is more deserving of our respect than ever.
The article, in further paying tribute to teachers and head teachers in particular pointed out that throughout the country then, and in every sort of school, there were good teachers; men and women, who it says, loved their work. It explains that they might not be particularly well-paid, their job is not highly regarded; they had to cope with large classes and a shortage of books and equipment and often had very loaded timetables.
This perhaps could be considered a thing of the past, putting into account the uncountable reforms and intellectual dedication demonstrated by scholars, who spared no time to produce books designed to meet the demands of the new generation in our National Education System.
Suitable reforms have today made teaching a highly noticeable profession and helped the industry maintain its stand as one of the biggest employers in the country.