“Gambia’s Education System In Serious Crisis”- BB Darboe
Commonly known as BB Darboe, ex-Vice-president and current leader of the Gambia for All Party (GFA), Bakary Bunja Darboe believes that The Gambia’s Education system is in serious crisis and therefore needs to be urgently looked at.
Darboe who was the guest of Hot FM’s “This week in politics” explained that the Education sector has ‘suffered the most’ under the past decades of misrule. He blamed the crisis on poor quality and the inadequate standard of the curriculum introduced in schools. “The Education sector has to be looked at, particularly from the angle of its curriculum. In others words, making use of what’s more relevant in terms of the demands of the employment market but also in quality terms” he said.
The Ministry of Basic and Secondary education has a couple of weeks ago released the grade 12 examination results. The results show a slight improvement of success from 20.7% in 2019 to 21.5% in 2020. But, according to BB Darboe, the school’s curriculum should put emphasis on skills training and acquisition to align the students’ employability with the demands of the job market.
“There is no doubt that the poor quality and the curriculum that has been taught have also added to the employability of Gambians. Almost in all the little active sectors like Construction or Tourism, there is an unhealthy domination of non-Gambians and likely, it is because Gambians don’t measure Education in terms of their training. I don’t believe the fact that they don’t want to do it. I think that quite often, they don’t have the skills and that comes back to our Education system”
According to BB Darboe, Education and Economy are amongst the top priorities of his party. He said his government in waiting seeks to transform the learning sector and had already started “engaging relevant stakeholders on reviving it”, when asked how he would he fix the problem grappling with the Education sector.
“One…, you have to look at the curriculum. You have to bring that up to what the employment market is increasingly demanding. But you also look at the quality of it. This has suffered considerably. What you have is a politicization of educational development from the primary school up to the university level. So we have to work on that. You have very low level of education and thus not giving the proper preparation so we have to work on that. I’ve talked to some local education experts and the general belief is that it’s not that the Gambia’s educationists don’t see the needful. They see the needful but the government forced on them a system which is just for political convenience for the political minds, not for the interest of quality Education or beneficiaries of Education”
Bakary Bunja Darboe served The Gambia under the People’s Progressive Party administration as vice president, the second highest government’s position, from 1982 to 1992. Yahya Jammeh and his AFPRC military junta toppled the PPP government BB Darboe served, accusing it of corruption at the time. Though BB Darboe briefly served under the AFPRC junta, he ended up quitting. In his interview with Esau Williams, BB Darboe said his party, Gambia for All, is willing to work with any other party in The Gambia on shared principles and beliefs.