Gambia Teacher Prize applications to open today
By Cherno Omar Bobb
Applications for the National Teacher Prize of The Gambia are set to open today, Sunday1st October and close on 7th November. The award was launched last Monday at the Gambia Teachers Union Conference Hall.
The award organised by The Gambia Teachers Union in partnership with the Namie Foundation and the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education aims to recognise the work of teachers and educators who have distinguished themselves in serving the profession through the challenges of the years as well as celebrate their work in national development.
Alhassan Susso, chairperson for the Namie Foundation said the award is meant to ensure teachers get the recognition that they deserve and are treated as the professionals that they are.
Hev added that the Namie Foundation objective of not only to uplift the teaching profession in The Gambia and ensure that every Gambian child receives high quality education but also ensure that people with disabilities are empowered to live meaningful lives and use their knowledge and skills to serve something greater than themselves.
“Our aim is to elevate the standards of teachers in The Gambia and showcase the exceptional work that they do in shaping the future of our country,” he stated.
Mr Susso pointed out that teachers do not only transform the lives of their students but also help in shaping their family narratives for generations forward.
He explained that applications for the award will open on 1st October and close on 7th November. He added that in December, the 3 finalists from each region will be announced and in January the regional winners will be announced to the public.
According to him, each regional winner will receive a cash prize of D50,000 and one of those regional winners will eventually become the receipient of National Teacher Prize of The Gambia on 15th February 2024. The national winner will get an additional D50,000 as his/her regional prize, he further said.
Lamin Jarjou, a member of organising committee said the award is open to teachers across the seven regions of the country who have served 2 years in the teaching field. However, he added that they must also fulfill other criterium. He added that people can apply or be nominated through the Namie Foundation website and/or offline by downloading and printing the application form.
Alpha Bah, director of standards and quality assurance at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education said recognising teachers will help attract teachers to stay in the teaching profession.
According to Mr Bah, the initiative came at a time they are reforming the country’s education agenda to ensure that they improve quality and foundational learning.
Essa Sowe, deputy general secretary for the Gambia Teachers Union (GTU) said that at GTU they believe that the working condition of the teacher determines the learning outcome of the students, noting that the partnership would in the long run attract, retain and motivate people to join the teaching profession.
He highlighted that as a country, investment in education is very minimal with the Ministry of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology (MoHERST) struggling with the budget that central government gives them.