TEACHERS FOR CHANGE GAMBIA
Following a series of consultations with our membership, partners and the entire structure of the TFC, the Taskforce teachers for change wishes to make the following publication.
After the refusal of the Gambia Teachers union to respect our call to discuss issues of concern to teachers, the Taskforce Teachers for Change wishes to inform its membership to keep alert. GTU’s refusal to honour our call is not just a manifestation that they do not have any regards for teachers but also a violation of the agreements cosigned by them which states that “Communication Channels among the stakeholder will hence forth be opened and widened without let or hindrance” on quote. As teachers, we believe that we have the right to consult the GTU on issues affecting us especially on issues of irregularities in the union. Therefore, refusing to listen to our concerns is a sign of administrative failure and uncalled for. We expect the GTU to be diplomatic and mature enough to listen to views coming from their membership most especially views relating to discomfort from members of the union.
On the other hand, we wish to express dissatisfaction with the entire process of the GTU delegate Congress that was held recently. To start with, the theme (leaving no one behind) for this year’s congress was misleading. We do not imagine that such an elusive and deceptive theme will come from a union with a bias and undemocratic constitution that excludes over 80 percent of its membership from actively taking part in the union’s affairs. The post of president going unopposed is enough evidence. Considering the criteria set out by the union as requirements to be a president (the age to be precise), it is evident that the youths are completely excluded from the union’s affairs. It is therefore out of propaganda and deception to initiate a so-called youth wing in the name of encouraging youths to be loyal and take ownership of the union. In addition, the delegate system is ineffective and a tool to black mail society, teachers in particular. We the teachers therefore believe that the entire current GTU executives are Old wine in new bottles. Over 80 percent of the GTU membership does not know its executive structure. This is due to the failure of the union to ensure the continuous flow of information to the general members and their intention to create complex bureaucracy that will discourage members from actively taking part in matters related to selecting executives for the GTU. On behalf of Teachers of the Gambia, we wish to express our displeasure in the highest order.
Furthermore, we wish to encourage the GTU to turn a new leaf. It is better late than never. We therefore seize this medium to reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that the Teaching profession in this country is dignified and standardized. We will continue to endeavor in making sure that no person or group of persons exploit teachers and work away free. We wish to grant the GTU another opportunity to meet us and discuss issues affecting us as teachers and the way forward for a better future for Gambian Teachers. It is time that the union employ diplomacy and dialogue instead of using propaganda and tricks against their own members who are trying to put things right. We believe that the GTU could have done better if the people in charge of the union listened to the members of the union. We all have a duty to make the teaching profession better. We wish to seize this opportunity to assure the general teaching fraternity that until our union serves the interest of teachers; we will not relent in our struggle to liberate it from unscrupulous individual within the union who are geared toward seeking personal gains. We therefore call on all stakeholders cooperate to with us in our struggle. Thank You. FORWARD EVER BACKWARD NEVER.