Inadequate Teachers: Educators Fear More Unmotivated-Ones May Quit
By Amadou Manjang
As the new academic year begins, there is a growing tendency of fear among educators that the number of experience and qualify teachers leaving the field may increase.
Many teachers have quit the profession due to lack of motivation.The rate at which teachers are quitting the profession to other professions in search of greener pasture is increasing at an alarming rate.
Alasana Jallow, a former high school teacher said he quit the profession to attend the university to further his education.
“I left because I was not focusing on my studies (at the University of the Gambia,” he said.
The Higher Teacher Certificate (HTC) holder further pointed out that for him to further his education and develop himself, he needs to quit the teaching profession.
However, Mr. Jallow said that lack of motivation and respect are also among the key reasons he left the profession.
“People are tired of this disgusting situation” he lamented.
For his part, Salifu Manneh, a teacher at Sukuta Senior Secondary School believes that most teachers quit the profession because their salaries are not attractive compared to the other professions.
“The Salaries of teachers are not attractive and the job is demanding and time consuming” he said.
He added that teachers are overloaded with lessons and periods between 25 to 30 per week coupled with inadequate teachers in schools.
Mr. Manneh has graduated at the Gambia College with HTC in English and S.E.S. and he has had taught for ten years.
Mr. Manneh called on the government to bring initiatives to motivate them n the teaching field.
“By paying them good salaries and also increase their allowances including priorities their house loans, and good transport allowances that will attract them to stay in the field” he remarked.
The Literature teacher added that with these incentives teachers will have great impact on the future of the country’s educational system, adding that he stays in the profession because of his passion for teaching.
The college graduate highlighted that when the experience and qualify teachers quit the profession, they are replaced by the unqualified or newly qualified teachers which is not good for the education system, adding that unqualified or newly qualified teachers cannot adequately fill the gaps left by experience and qualified ones. .
Bakary Jarju, a teacher at Nemasu Senior Secondary School opined that unqualified and inexperience teachers may result in procuring unfruitful and unproductive youth.
The History teacher said unexpected quitting of teachers make their suitable replacement difficult to find and it also make students to missed teachers whose teaching methods they are familiar with.
For Mr. Jarju lack of motivation or studying at the university are the main reason why teachers quit teaching.
He added: “My staying in the field does not mean things are going well for me. But I believe that I’ll succeed in achieving my goal in the system as I’ll be going for studies as a teacher, and hope that things will be fine one day,” he said.
Jegan Corr, Construction Teacher said that teachers quitting the profession create weak or valor setback on the country’s education system, adding that students do felt discourage to drop certain subjects because their favorite teachers are quitting the profession.
He said he can’t blame the teachers for quitting. For him, teachers need to go and upgrade themselves as well as earned money to take care of their basic needs.
“I did not have the opportunity like getting another job or further my course but if I have, I would have left (the profession),” the HTC holder said.
Ismaila Sambou, the Principal of Bakoteh Upper and Senior Secondary School said when teachers quit teaching it has a devastating impact on the students as they lost required contact numbers they should have with their teachers.
But he quickly pointed out that teachers could not met their needs from their salaries that’s why they leave for other attractive professions to make end meets.
“It is a constrain on us when teachers are not motivated.” he said.
He added that teachers need to be motivated to stay in the field and teach the young’s ones since the future development of the country depends on the youths.
Lamin Yaffa, the cluster monitor for Region 1 said it’s not only lack of motivation that makes teachers quit but lack of desire for the profession.
Yaffa said that as more teachers quit, more classroom are left uncopied which affects the students because they’ll not be able to complete their syllabus, saying they will be ill-equip for their exams.
“This can make it very difficult for them to past their exams.” he said.
He added that it also increases workload on other teachers as they need to fill the gaps their colleagues left behind, therefore, teachers will take more period than usual.
For his part, Dr. Burama Jammeh, Retired Director of Curriculum Research, Evaluation and Development at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MOBSE) said there is need to provide development opportunities for teachers. This he believes will improve the working conditions of teachers to stay in the profession.
“They should provide and encourage further professional development opportunities. Also create opportunities for teachers to have money when the need arises, most especially favourable salaries, welfare and loan schemes” he concluded.