INTRODUCTION TO GTU
GTU was founded on 9th February 1937. It is the most sound and progressive professional body in the country representing Teachers and (other) Education Workers. Basically, the challenging operating environment in the field of teaching and learning has been and continues to form the core business of the Union. We confront these challenges through the provision of services whereby the collective views, opinions and decisions of our members can be heard; promoting quality public education for all and ensuring improved working and learning conditions for teachers and student, respectively.
The culture and image of the Union is influenced by our core operating values: responsiveness; respectfulness; integrity and accountability. We build partnership and share ideas, experiences and best practices on our work with both Government and other development partners. We provide guidance in our overall operations as eminent in our Code of Professional Ethics and Conduct for Teachers; highlighting barriers to children and women’s participation in learning and decision making, respectively in all our engagements and in all public fora.
We explore all opportunities to advocate for policy change and dialogue as members of several national and international committees and boards on education; engage in consciousness raising on the rights and responsibilities of our members in the provision of quality education for all generally at the level of policy formulation, implementation and monitoring. We also provide socio-economic services through the principle of people helping people at the GTU Credit Union. Platforms such as World Teachers Day are used to influence and organize debates and symposia on topical issues.
In fulfilling our obligations to the student, we commit ourselves in supporting teachers and (other) education workers to deal justly and considerately with each student; encouraging them study varying points of views and respecting their rights to form their own judgment. We consider any form of exploitation of our professional relationship with any student by anyone as a heinous crime and as such, teachers are required to tutor only in accordance with officially approved policies.
BRIEF HISTORY OF THE GTU
Initially, recruitment of teachers was greatly monopolised by Christian Missionaries mainly the Methodist, Anglican and the Catholic Missions. This was a time when the Colonial Government showed little or no interest in education. Therefore, no machinery was created during the period to protect the interest and welfare of teachers. Low salaries and poor conditions of service became the order of the day. These circumstances compelled some of these teachers to form a cohesive body that would unite to either fight or bargain for the betterment of their conditions of service. This was an illusion because most teachers then were not conscious of such a need.
The GTU is a force to be reckoned with. One of the teachers who pioneered such a formation was Reverend John Colly Faye. He was the brain behind what today, is known as the Gambia Teachers Union. He was a selfless patriot who rejected assuming any position in the executive but instead stayed in the corridors of power from where he made his mark.
In 1950, the then President Mr Ezekel Asamoah and two other members of the Executive, Messrs Tamasa S Jarra and A S C Abel-Thomas, represented teachers as members of the WHITELY COUNCIL which was established to look into teachers’ conditions of service. This was as a result of the relentless force and pressure this Union brought to bear on their Government.