Teachers for change will carry out a nationwide sit-in strike on September 17 if the government of the Gambia does not concede to its demands contained in a resolution following a joint consultative meeting it held attended by the Gambia Teachers Union, the Honourable Minister and Permanent Secretary of MOBSE and attended by the Honourable Minister of Higher Education Research Science and Technology (MOHERS).
Speaking to this paper, the Public Relations Officer for the TFC, Alhassan Ceesay, said Teachers for Change has a following of over 10 Thousand teachers with common problems and its main aim is to represent teachers who have not been represented before.
Since the Gambia Teachers Union has not been proactive in dealing with the authorities on issues relating to the situations of teachers the TRC felt they should take up the challenge themselves.
Ceesay noted that the have called on the authorities to look into their plight and try to address the issues which among others include a salary increment including an end to the perennial delay in paying allowances and for teachers posted to what they call ‘hardship zones’ to benefit from allowances.
They also called for the payment of provincial allowances to commensurate the transport allowance recently increased with drawback from January 2018. Ceesay insists that its members have called for a better teaching environment where teachers will have a free educational system that caters for their welfare.
Speaking on government’s attitude to their demands, Ceesay posited that the Ministry of Education has been a disappointing partner from the onset and that since their engagement with them back in June they have failed to honour the agreements reached within the stated time lines. These agreements include increasing our salaries, and a 100% increment for double shift, improved communication between the task force, the GTU and the Ministry.
The TFC is now stronger than the Teachers Union and this is due to the fact that they have been more proactive in championing the cause of teachers and bringing it to the authorities. “All teachers in the Gambia need change and this includes members of the teacher’s Union which in the beginning of our crusade were against our efforts”.
With the number of teachers currently behind the taskforce of the TFC, the sit-down strike will greatly affect the education system if the government does not answer to our demands. We have called on our members to be law abiding at all times during the sit-down.