By Yankuba Jallow / Nelson Manneh / Louise Jobe
The Teachers Task Force set up by the striking teachers, yesterday met the Gambia Teachers Union to discuss issues concerning the sit-down strike that begun on the 5th of February, 2018. The ongoing strike is organised by some teachers in order to attract the attention of Government on their welfare. At the time of going to press, the meeting was not concluded and Foroyaa will publish the outcome of the meeting on Monday 12th February 2018.
This medium yesterday conducted a tour of Regions One and Two as well as made contacts to know the situation in other regions of the country. Teachers in the various public schools within the Kanifing Municipality, West Coast as well as many other Regions, still continue with their sit-down strike ignoring the press statement released by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education that gave them an ultimatum to return to work or face the consequences of their actions.
The teachers on sit-down strike have formed Whatsapp-groups to discuss issues affecting them and the way forward. The striking teachers have resolved that they are not moved with the release from the Ministry and are very disappointed with the approach of their Ministry; that they are ready for dialogue but were quick to add that they will never be moved by any intimidation or inducement by their Ministry. “No one can threaten us”, they said. Some teachers went further to call for the resignation of the GTU because they are not serving the interest of their members and are conforming themselves to the dictates of the Ministry.
A Principal in one of the Upper Basic Schools said in the Kanifing Municipality, the strike is gradually escalating by the day; that at the beginning of the week only few teachers were on strike; but that as at yesterday, almost 90% of the teachers were not around; that the few who are in School, are not teaching.
‘‘The teachers really sympathised the students but they indicated that they have no other alternative than to embark on the strike,’’ one teacher puts it to this reporter.
Some students said they are not learning and the strike has some effect on them; that the demands of the teachers are genuine and Government should consider them.
“This sit down strike affects us a lot especially with the forthcoming WASSCE and WAEC exams,” he said.
However, information reaching this medium at the time of going to Press indicate that the discussion between the Union and the Task Force set up by the Striking Teachers, did not bear fruit.