|Teachers at the press confrence|
Friday, 28 September 2018
I write in solidarity with the teachers for change as per their request for a better education sector. Our teachers were the educators who give us knowledge of the world around us and changes it into something for a better society we all want to live in. Still advances us a viewpoint of looking at life and helps us build opinions and have points of view on things in life and the surrounding.
The last time I checked education is widely regarded as essential to economic growth, national development and overall prosperity. In The Gambia, education is valued very highly and theoretically given a high priority. Strangely enough, however, the teachers responsible for educating Gambia's children are not valued that highly as expected compared to other jobs. Considering the rapid increase in goods and services, you would think that teachers would be among the highest paid professionals. Yet teachers are compensated unreasonably to their advanced education levels and are disrespected by many people.
If the salary for teachers were higher, then more people would want to join the profession. With more competition for teaching, the best people would be the ones who are ultimately to be hired. With better teachers at schools, more students would hopefully connect with what they are learning and want to go on to a higher education. With more education, graduates from the University of The Gambia would be better prepared to go out as far beyond Bollibanna.
I remember when my teacher once asked me what I want to be in the future. I replied Teacher, he shouted at me "not to pray for that". And informed me that teachers are the least paid in which they struggle with their salaries to make a leaving as they normally rely on bank overdraft. After a lot of thought, it's obvious to me that my education would be much better if my teachers felt valued. It seems as though many teachers are asked to do more every year for the same salary or sometimes with a pay cut.
Many teachers have not been noiseless about their reasons for abandoning the profession, low morale and low pay. Yet the state’s response has not been enough to end the ongoing crisis of teachers in schools. The job of recruiting and retaining qualified teachers especially in the rural areas becomes more difficult without wiggle room for bonuses and high pay.
Motivated teachers can lead to increased productivity and allow a school to achieve higher levels of output. It is high time for the Barrow led administration to consider the demands of the teachers. Since the majority of teachers quit the teaching field unwilling because of the harsh and stressful conditions.
Tuesday, 25 September 2018
Dr John Pombe Magufuli, President of Tanzania, has asserted a strong stance against public spending and discouraged unjustified foreign travels by senior government officials, since assuming office. To do just that, he is leading by example. Shortly assuming the mantle of leadership in 2015, he made his first foreign visit to Rwanda in April 2016, using a commercial flight; in fact, this visit came five months after taking over the reins of power, as opposed to his counterparts in other poor African countries who normally spend hugely on overseas travels.
Magufuli also waged a war on corruption and wasteful spending by government officials. This has led to him losing a lot of friends; nonetheless, Magufuli will not budge, as the Minister of Works, he is widely hailed as a no-nonsense, results-driven politician and “Bulldozer”, perhaps due to his vision to pursue a program to build good roads across in Tanzania.
In 2015, when his country was gearing up of for its independence celebrations, President Magufuli ordered a nationwide clean-up exercise which he led to show that much-needed commitment as a senior statesman, Maguifuli's move to not go for an extravagant celebration which could cost millions is commendable, in fact, he channeled the funds that were earmarked for the celebrations sort out to anti-cholera operations, that was needed most.
The Tanzanian President discouraged unnecessary physical meetings by public servants; instead, he advocated conference calls. For nepotism, favoritism and abuse of office, Maguifuli has zero tolerance for them. Magufuli wouldn’t think twice to deal with an incompetent civil servant, who lacks the zeal to wholeheartedly work for the advancement of Tanzania. On September 6, 2018. He appointed Diwani Athumani as Director-General for the Prevention and Combating of Corruption Bureau (PCCB). Corruption itself is said to be: “the single greatest obstacle to economic and social development. It undermines development by distorting the rule of law and weakening the institutional foundation on which economic growth depends” (World Bank).
Magufuli’s attributes cannot be found in many African leaders, who actually know their responsibilities as heads of states but give deaf ears to them. When it was time to attend the United Nations General Assembly in New York, most African Heads of States took chartered flight to New York but for Magufuli, a commercial flight will do, perhaps to save cost. What a decisive and commendable move?
Another Magufuli Type of leader can be found in Mexico, its new President, Lopez Obrador, took a commercial flight instead of a chartered flight to attend the UNGA. Mr Obrador said he would be “ashamed to have a luxury Aero plane in a country with so much poverty."