The Gambia Teachers’ Union Young Teachers Platform on Thursday, August 5, 2021 conducted its maiden General Assembly Meeting at the Paradise Suites Hotel under the theme “Enhancing Youth Participation in Leadership and Good Governance”.
The Gambia Teachers Union through support from the Steve Sinnott Foundation organized a training workshop on School-Related Gender-Based Violence for female headteachers and young female teachers serving in schools in the rural Gambia.
The training was meant to equip participants with the necessary knowledge and skills in the fight against SRGBV. Reports have indicated the high prevalence of SRGBV, thus the union’s consideration for the training of her members on this menace. The union expects participants to use the knowledge gained to fight the occurrence of SRGBV and to also coach students on the issue.
Delivering her statement during the opening ceremony, Madam Saffie Nyassi, Vice President 1 and Chairperson of the GTU Ladies’ Society emphasized the timeliness of the training. She thanked the donors for funding the training. According to her, SRGBV is prevalent in schools and regions; young female teachers and female students bearing a higher percentage of the victims. This she said must stop and the only way is through training of such nature and awareness creation.
She therefore, called on participants to be good ambassadors of the union in the fight against SRGBV. She encouraged the reporting of cases through the right medium.
Other speakers all challenged the participants to do away from the culture of silence. They argued that for a milestone to be reached in the fight against SRGBV, victims or witnesses of violations must not be silent about them.
During the two day training, participants were exposed to various thematic areas of presentations by experts.
The Gambia Teachers’ Union Young Teachers Platform on Thursday, August 5, 2021 conducted its maiden General Assembly Meeting at the Paradise Suites Hotel under the theme “Enhancing Youth Participation in Leadership and Good Governance”. The meeting was meant to ratify the by-laws of the platform, endorse the activity report of the Interim committee, validate the draft GTU Youth Policy as well elect a new executive committee.
Speaking at the meeting, the General Secretary of GTU-Marie Antoinette Corr said the YTP was established to champion the interest of young teachers, adding that young people are the current and future of the union. She further told delegates that “Your presence here today is a powerful reflection of our collective desire to a see a positive change, through an effective and progressive response to our collective action to advance the involvement of young teachers in union leadership”.
The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, Louis Moses Mendy said for any nation that wants to develop, it must shape her future through a better education system. PS Mendy challenged delegates to remain focus and resolute as it is the only way to move the GTU to higher heights.
“Your representation must not be measured and mirrored on you. It must be measured and mirrored on those that you represent”. He added “Your virtue of representation should be seen on the welfare of the people that you represent that are not here, that’s leadership”, he told delegates.
He said the creation of the Young Teachers Platform is an exemplifier of good governance executed by the parent body-GTU. He again challenged the leadership of the YTP to be focused, have ides, make resolutions and have consistency to achieve a young and vibrant YTP.
Speaking earlier, the President of the GTU, Ismaila S. Ceesay, said he GTU has undergone radical reforms for the past 84 years. As such, he said the need for greater participation, increased sense of ownership and more importantly, action is eminent and the advent of the YTP will not only help to consolidate the efforts, but sustain the gains.
“The emergence of the YTP is apt, taking into consideration that more than 65% of the teaching population of the country is under the youth bracket,” the president remarked.
Presenting the Activity Report of the Interim Committee of the YTP (2019-2021), the Chairman of the Interim Committee, Alhagie B. Sama, highlighted numerous activities his committee embark on to lay a solid foundation for the YTP. He said during the period, the committee conducted radio talkshows to popularize the YTP, held talks with partner associations, embarked on tours, drafted a GTU Youth policy among others. Chairman Sama also highlighted concerns raised by teachers during engagements with them. He finally called on young teachers to embrace the YTP.
The Gambia Teachers’ Union Young Teachers Platform is an organ of the GTU. Established in 2019 through a resolution of the National Delegates Congress, the YTP serves as the organ of the GTU that will provide a collective voice and represent the youth cohort of the GTU membership in all matters that concern them.