PROPOSAL FOR A NATIONAL PARENT-TEACHERS ASSOCIATION
Monday, March 14, 2011
“The Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) bridges the gap between teachers and parents and take major decisions in the administration of the school. It is one of the most powerful stakeholders in the education sector.” Education Indepth reports
The erratic behaviour of our students is becoming worrisome to all concern citizens and there is a need for reforming as soon as possible.
The problem that had happened between Gambia Senior and St. Augustine Senior Secondary Schools, the problem that had happened at I.C.E. and just recently between Armitage and Bansang Senior Schools in Central River Region and Ming Ndaw is sufficient enough to be discussed at National Assembly to come up with a surmountable solution to prevent serious crimes in future. What we had been witnessing may not end at schools but may flow into the wider communities.
The extent of rifts between schools cannot be measured from human perceptions(let the sleeping dog lies). Many a time we sit back and look at things as they happen, and when they get out of hand we start to jump up in trying to control them when the damage will have already been done. This was exactly what had happened in April 10/11,2001.
Schools are regarded as the fastest media which constitute learners, teachers and parents. At school, the government is represented by the head and his/her teachers while parents are represented by a committee called Parent-teacher Associations. Every school has this association which often meets terminally or yearly and discuss matters concerning the progress of learning and peaceful atmosphere within the school environment.
It is sad to say that most of the parents are neither aware of the existence of such associations nor understand their functions. The Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) bridges the gap between teachers and parents and take major decisions in the administration of the school. It is one of the most powerful stakeholders in the education sector.
It has been realized from most school heads that whenever they convene PTA meetings, the turnout is always discouraging and the messages are not reaching the people concerned. This makes school management very difficult for them and they cannot achieve their goals when the participation of other parties are lacking. It is therefore imperative to revitalize the activities of Parent-Teacher Associations in all the schools across the country.
Education in-depth took it upon itself to sound the opinion of people concerning the control of the ill manners of some of our students who use school environments to create violence and bully the weaker ones and to instill fear in the minds of the progressive ones.
However, some people suggested that there should be a National Parent-Teacher Association to coordinate all the other PTAs within the country. The National Association should be composed of veteran teachers if possible to formulate policies (constitution) for all other associations and to create branches in all the regions to be referred to as regional PTAs.
This idea was welcomed by some whom we were fortunate to have discussions with. Majority of those people appreciated the proposal and opined that the involvement of parents’ representatives nationally in school management was long over due and we need a robust PTA committee in the school management to lessen and control the behaviour of the students.
The poor performance of many students in schools is another problem that will be looked into by this proposed National PTA Committee and to come up with a formula on how to make a stop to the worsening of results we a seeing in these years. The teaching pedagogy to be used in Lower Basic, Upper Basic and Senior Secondary Schools would be properly monitored and controlled by the national committee and have dialogue with relevant authorities on some of the problems we are currently witnessing in the school system.
In engaging some foreign teachers’ opinions about this proposal, Jahide Johnson, head of science and mathematics department of Sifoe Senior Secondary School welcomed the idea and that this would go down a long way in helping the country’s education sector to minimize prevailing problems in schools. He further stated that Nigeria had a similar association and this really helped putting things straight. He had no doubt in mind that if such an association is carefully formed it will certainly make great changes in the whole system.
Mr.Sarjo Jobe, the principal of Sifoe Senior School and the secretary general of Science Teacher’s Association Gambia (STAGAM), also added his voice to the proposal. According to Mr. Jobe, the idea is find and may do a lot in contributing to the changes in the education of our future generation which we are all yearning for. Jobe suggested that if such an association was formed at national level, there aught be others at the regional levels and even at cluster levels to extend the good work of their parent body.
The manner in which such a brilliant initiation can be implemented as soon as possible is the responsibility of the readers and the general public to call us or write to us by either supporting or condemning the idea. We are looking forward to receiving your contribution.
Better decisions are made with our pillows.
Call us on tel: 6900842 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Author: Janneh Darboe