The Injustice At Play In School Boards
Monday, July 02, 2012
It had been realised that since the inception of the University of the Gambia some years back, so many of our competent trained qualify teachers were lost to other disciplines of work which gave the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MOBSE) different thoughts to respond rapidly to such a great menace to the development of our beloved motherland. MOBSE in collaboration with Gambia government through Personnel Management Office (PMO) had come up with different incentive schemes to revitalise the lost glory (quality education).
Among the scheme is retention allowance for teachers , to encourage them stay in the profession. Another was to retain and to maintain its graduates in the system by paying them a “graduate allowance”. The later had paid dividend as less teacher are now leaving the profession.
MOBSE and PMO deemed it necessary to pay such graduate allowance to all those who are legible and insist that all must benefit from such special allowance. Denial of paying legible teachers of such allowances tantamount to insubordination of executive order.
Some principals in board schools over the years are back peddling the good work of the government by denying their graduate teachers this entitlement, which is the graduate allowances.Sources reaching Education In depth revealed that in one of the meetings of the so called conference of principals, that apart from the principal and the vice, all other graduates in their various schools should not benefit from the graduate allowance due to insufficient fund .
If MOBSE was aware that the subventions they give to schools were not adequate to cater for all the graduate teachers they would not have informed the graduate teachers about the entitlement. Our doubt here is that if the funds were not enough why did the principals considered themselves first instead of those who do the most labourious works?
Recently some graduate teachers from Sifoe Senior School, who had applied for the allowance from Gambia government through MOBSE, were asked to liaise with their school for the payment of such allowance as a board school or else they may be posted to another school where they may apply to benefit from such an allowance. Consequently, five out of the seven Gambian graduates in the school wrote a join letter to the principal to express their dissatisfaction and are seriously looking into the possibility of moving to another school where such allowances will be paid to them.The Principal is yet to invite those teachers for any bilateral discussions concerning their welfare in the school.
Education In-depth had come to the conclusion that the principals’ idea or decision of not paying graduate allowance to other graduate teachers under the board schools must have been empowered by the MOBSE and Gambia Teachers Union (GTU). This is sure because there cannot be any meeting of conference of principals without sending an invitation to the ministry and GTU. If principals should raise such ideas in such meetings, we assumed that they should be condemned outright by representatives of both MOBSE and GTU.
The country had attained accessed and reliable education but the quality is yet to be met. The means to meet the quality education target is to standardise the education system from the grass root by coming up means of board schools to pay graduate teachers for all allowances that Gambia government created. The ministry should intervene as soon as possible to level the playing field for all players. In as much as they want to keep playing the game,, they must obey the rules of the game.
For GTU, the president is the principal of Muslim Senior School. He has two caps on and is aware of the appalling financial conditions of teachers. Most of those graduate teachers had gone through their university education without sponsorship, the little they had saved all when to the university tuition fees whiles some still owe university and could not access their certificate due to such arrears. Remember that it is through teachers sweats that GTU is running and you are all giving a blind eye and deaf ears to problem you should solve.
Every month GTU collects fifty dalasi (D50) from teachers for the up-keeping of that office yet such an injustice is happening in schools and you fail to take steps in the right direction. Such things need to be properly handled amicably as soon as possible to sharpen union members trust and confidence in youThere is lot of hypocrisy behind such a draconian decision of those pot belly greedy supercilious principals. We had censured this from so many dimensions to gage the: fairness, concern, goal oriented and the effectiveness and efficiency of those principals whose attitudes are scaring away the few graduate teachers which can only yield us nothing but rather schools full of foreign teachers who are economic migrant and would only care about how much they receive at the end of the month but not how our children are progressing with their education. Most of those foreign teachers often address our school children as stupid, indiscipline and so on when, however those foreign teachers are sent to those schools to change those children they refer to as stupid heads to intelligent ones,
After few years operating as senior schools, those principals would write to go under board. To under board for what?To access more money for their families and for themselves at the detriment of others? If they are sure that funds are not enough why do they still cling on to stay under board?We had been informed that school like Armitage pays graduate allowance if that is so, why not others? Graduates teachers particularly those under board schools who do not care about their graduate teachers had expressed their concerns over this matter which is barbaric, unfair, discriminatory, deceiving, discouraging, demotivating, malicious and its a professional misconduct.
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Author: Janneh S Darboe