Schools will be disrupted this week as Teachers for Change go on nationwide strike despite the Gambia Teachers Union statement that all is well. Their actions fallowed a decisive general meeting they held on the 8th September 2018 at Abuko Upper Basic School Hall to discuss the last resort in ensuring that demands laid before authorities early this year are met. The meeting was attended by over seven hundred teachers from across the length and breadth of the Gambia.
Addressing the huge gathering of teachers, the Chairperson for TFC Ebrima D. York thanked all teachers for the high turnout. He also explained some of the issues that led to the formation of the TFC “Teachers for change is nonpolitical and we have no hidden agenda. All we want is to see that our profession is respected.” He said.
AbdoulieJallow gave the reasons as to why they are embarking on the September strike. “Our strike is based on our resolutions, none of the agreements in that resolution have been resolved not even the least, so we have no reason to report to school come September 17th”.
Mr Jallow called on his fellow teachers to be mindful of the Gambia Teachers Union’s recent move which he described as propaganda, claiming that such propaganda will never work with them. “Was it not funny when GTU said teachers will embark on a sit-down strike if their demands were not met by the 7th of September? How can we strike when we are on holidays?”
Mr.Jallow maintained that, that was enough to prove to every teacher that the GTU was playing a cheap propaganda and they have failed woefully. Mr.Jallow went further to say that If the GTU were genuine in their demands, they would not have made fresh demands when they know that they were signatories to a resolution of which none of the agreements in that resolution are met. “If GTU is fighting against teachers, I will like to know who really is GTU representing?” Mr.Jallow posited.
Mr.Essa Jesus Jatta a teacher whose recent problem with GTUCCU officials hurt every teacher gave a testimony of what happened between him and the GTU officials leading to his salary account being blocked. In seeking due justice for his salary to be paid Mr.Jatta eventually found himself in cell with injuries inflicted upon him by the police before he could even give a statement. “I was made to understand that the taskforce visited the GTU secretariat and the GTUCCU branch but officials at both places refused to explain anything to them.”
AlhassanCeesay the P.R.O of the TFC taskforce says a structure will be in place to monitor the success of the strike and that involves up to date reports from selected members known as ‘School Reps. ‘on how effective the strike is in their respective schools because in the last strike they had false reports coming from some media outlets and we will not allow that to distract us.”
Mr. Abdul Aziz Kah a member of the TFC advisory board reminded the teachers that the TFC is non-political and therefore do not want anyone to politicize our move. “let us hold firm to the struggle and push harder. Let us mean what we say and stand firm to overcome all obstacles on our ways.” He added “Your efforts will be felt by generations of teachers to come.”
The taskforce maintain that the sit-in strike will go on indefinitely until their demands are not met.