By Mustapha Jallow
The women of Chamen in the Central River Region-North, on Tuesday 30 October 2018, urged Commissioners of the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC), to draft Laws that will make education free for Gambians up University level.
“I urge Commissioners who are tasked to review our Constitution to introduce a free education law and pass it at the National Assembly for our children to have a better education as many parents find it difficult to meet their educational needs,’’ said Kaddijatou Bah, a native of Chamen.
Such remarks were made immediately the meeting was held at Chamen by civic educators at the Constitutional Review Commission and National Council for Civic Education sensitization tour of the provinces.
She said the CRC has taken the right direction at a right time, to move the country’s development forward; that they feel joyful to receive such an important delegation from CRC, to educate them.
She raised concerns over the lack of participation of her fellow women; that without their contribution, the country cannot move anywhere; that their ideas or contributions to rebuild the nation’s Constitution will not benefit the present generation alone but will continue to benefit every generation that comes after.
According to her the free education issue should be looked at as the most important need that Gambian women want for their children, since they are the future leaders, doctors and engineers.
Halima Touray-Cham highlighted the importance of these meetings conducted by the CRC and NCCE to educate them about the constitutional review process.
She made similar remarks on education like Khaddijatou Bah.
An 18-year-old Ndey Cham, a student at Kaur Upper Basic School, also commented on free education. She also called on Commissioners, NAMs and relevant authorities to look into the education system of the country.
“We’ve listened to CRC and NCCE so I’m sure we will make best use of what they have told us. We will go and educate ourselves to enable us prepare for the commissioners who will ask us what we need in our constitution. I therefore thank the officials to continue to reach out to us by initiating these educative meetings,’’ she concluded.
The councillor of Chamen also spoke lengthy about CRC’s commitment to review the Constitution and called on the people to listen and fully participate when the commissioners visit them.
“Our attendance to this meeting is very important. Let us open minds and ears and listen to them,’’ Councilor Edirissa Ceesay said. “What CRC said here is very clear to everyone. Come out and contribute in this great moment,’’ he said.
Raky Cham in the same settlement said whatever CRC said or build is for the benefit of all Gambians. She also urged the people of Nianija to put aside their political difference and work on the country’s development.
“Upon the arrival of the CRC commissioners let no one go to the farm so that we can hear from them and they also can hear from us as well. By doing this, we all have to participate,’’ she said.
Alassan David Cham blamed most of his people for not spreading the information on time; saying the arrival of this official was noticed early many people will attend as the meeting was interesting and important for them.
NCCE and CRC shared the same message with Chamen community members and asked them to patriciate in the reviewing of the Constitution as their contribution or ideas would in turn make a Constitution that will last.
Speaking At Buduck Nianija, CRR-North, the chairman of NCCE Sering Faye told the gathering that a person may wish to acquire Gambian citizenship. He then asked whether that person should be required to renounce any other citizenship he/she may have, or hold dual nationality. He told them that that those answers should be given to the commissioners.
Talking about non Gambians who had migrated into the country and had children born and raised in The Gambia and went through the school system in the country, he asked whether such children and their parents should be granted citizenship.
“Therefore I want you to give answers to the Commissioners who will soon face you all. Sit in groups and share ideas so that you will know what to say or not to say,’’ he advised.
Dawada Yorke, the chief of Buduck said that this campaign conducted by CRC to review the Constitution is historic.
“My people, this is not about politics and neither have they come for political campaign, but it’s matter of our own Constitution. The mission of CRC and its co-partner NCCE was to move forward.
He concluded that each Alkali that received the simple booklet should sit-down in groups and discuss and share ideas among themselves so that answers will be easy for every individual.