The Plight of Graduate Teachers
Monday, October 24, 2011
The efficiency and effectiveness of any human effort, both mentally and physically, depends on the level and skills acquired by the service man in any aspect or discipline of human life.
In any discipline, people yarn to be trained and acquire necessary and the requisite knowledge and skills to perform their works adequately, effectively and efficiently in achieving a stated goals. The main device in achieving objectives is through a well-trained team of workers.
A well-trained team of police personnel will use skills and knowledge to control high crime rate in a country; a well-trained soldiers foil insurgence in a country; a well-trained professional footballers win matches and bring glory to a nation; and it goes on and on like that.
All the afore mentioned skilled personnel need fair pay and other form of motivation at their work places to stay put to deliver as expected or even beyond.
On the contrary, however, when there is lack of sufficiently trained personnel in any work place, the tendency of incompetency in service delivery is no doubt very high. This is apparent in many disciplines around us and is noticeable day in day out.
One of the teeming issues at hand for discussion at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) and a concern for all is the decline of the quality education in schools.
This certainly needs solutions without any form of prejudice or ill will. We had seen the earlier steps taken by the basic and secondary education ministry by capacitating lower basic schoolteachers in English language and Mathematics as a basis in restoring quality and standard education in our schools.
Adam Smith, who was widely regarded as the father of Economics had placed much emphasis on wealth.
His critics had condemned his efforts in the inquiry into causes of wealth that had probed the study of economics in its own discipline.
It was opined that Smith had failed to give due consideration to the one who acquired the wealth (the wealthy person) but instead he kept talking about the wealth.
In the same vein, MOBSE is worried about the fall in the quality of education but has failed to talk about those behind the provision of quality education - teachers who are in the frontline.
The caliber of teachers in the school system from the lower basic to senior secondary school and the manner in which they are treated require probe.
The highest place of learning and acquiring knowledge is The University of The Gambia. People from all disciplines of work force in The Gambia send the deserving personnel to the University for Bachelor Degree.
Such program would prone those to scientific researches in the quest of more knowledge and discovering.
At the end of the training, the trainees anticipate changes in their working status like promotion in to higher positions and other fringe benefits at their places of work.
Other sectors are responding positively towards these and many are now battling it out to go to the University for further training.
This is not what we are experiencing in MoBSE as we can see that so many of the teachers have graduated from the university for more than three years, some five years, and they are treated as not graduated from the university.
Some are promoted, but still many of them are receiving their HTC status while some PTC status.
Our dear readers, this has led to the de-motivation of our abled graduate teachers to switch over to other sectors and some for private schools.
Those who are left back conditionally are becoming frustrated developing hate towards the noble profession after waiting for so long to see changes, which is yet to precipitate on them.
One of those affected, informed this reporter that he was offered a cadet administrative assistant position at Personnel Management Office and was denied by MoBSE to transfer his service to PMO shortly after he had completed his university program in November 2008.
The victim confirmed that some of his colleagues’ forms were stamped and signed but for him he had no closer relative to assist him. He further stated that up to date the ministry fails to reconsider him, which he termed as gross injustice and negligence by MOBSE.
Some teachers have questioned the credibility of Human Resources Directorate towards the plight of teachers which some attributed to one of the factors of the decline of quality education.
Some have observed that vacancies were announced since in April 2011 of which many teachers including those unconsidered graduates had applied but up the time of going to the press nothing have been heard of those vacancies which explanation is needed from the MOBSE.
There is shortage of competent teachers in most of our Upper Basic and Senior Secondary Schools that is due to insignificant number of graduate teachers in those schools and the consequence is fall in standard and quality education in our schools.
Those remaining graduates teachers living on meager pay cannot concentrate fully on their works and would under perform. This is one example preventing some teachers from going to the University for their higher education training.
This is pathetic and called for an immediate attention. The attention of the director or HRD, the permanent secretary, the minister of MoBSE and the president of the republic on this issue.
Candidly, our president is spending too much on the education sector since he came to power to eradicate illiteracy and unawareness in the country and bring Gambia to the benchmark of the international standard of education.
Should we betray him of the right course? If the president has brought the university to the doorstep of the poor and the neediest, what time is minister Lamin Faye permanent secretary Bouye wasting in giving the right status to their graduates to set the pace for the sustainability of the quality education in our country?
If other ministries consider their graduates upon completion of their programmes at the university how about MoBSE. This is inexcusable and unforgivable and immediate actions should be taken to straighten up the situations.
Author: Janneh s.Darboe