By Ebrima Kamara & Kunba N’dure
The changes we make must be immediate and ensure equal opportunities for all our children regardless of gender or geography. We must get it right this time in order to effect meaningful change. Guarantee quality education for every child from kindergarten to the highest level of scholarship.
There have been too many missed opportunities, when scholarship grants were not awarded well deserving students whom through hard work and superior scholastic aptitude would have excelled in any field of studies. Instead, grants were awarded to students because of their families’ social status and not because they meet the scholastic requirement and aptitude. This corruption coupled with poor decisions made by educators within the education system ultimately exhausted not only the resources available at the time but had dire consequences for deserving students and the country at large.
The overwhelming pleasure of freedom we are experiencing must not distract us from the ultimate goal of the new Gambia. Where the yardstick by which success is measured is hard work, trust, cooperation, empathy, respect, and not cronyism or and class based relationships. The new Gambian education system has to emphasize the ambition of leaving no child behind, make sure merit is given to deserving students and that the content of education is self-reflective and self-representative.
It is an established fact that the kind of future we create for coming generations begins with the content of their education. What we teach our children to equip them with pride, the morality of hard work is the A & Z of the new Gambia we envision in the celebration of our newfound freedom. The tools we give them to meet the challenges ahead in this ever-changing world is crucial for the kind of future they would construct.
The same way the Western, Arabic, Chinese, Indian and Japanese self-understanding is both derived and connected to the spirits of their ancestors. The challenge at hand is how we integrate education with the spirits of our ancestors as a method of measuring the meaningfulness and strength of our freedom, morality and self-respect.
Wishful thinking and bantering about what is wrong or right is not a solution. The only way out is to build The New Gambia on solid and concrete ideas envisioned, planned executable and measurable.