An Open Letter To The Minister of Basic & Secondary Education On The Plight Of Rural Kids
By Saidina Alieu Jarjou
Hon. Minister, Madam Claudiana Ayo Cole, how are you doing in these trying times of COVID-19 pandemic we are confronted with. I hope you are keeping it safe and following the World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines.
It has been a while since I last send you an open letter on the matters ranging from corruption and improved service delivery for a better educational sector we want. However, in today’s letter, I am writing with mixed feelings and total dissatisfaction beyond human imagination in the hearth of Kudang, Central River Region (CRR). Also, you could recall that during one of my letters sometime last year when you assume office, I remind you of the heavy task on your soldiers.
Hon. Minister, I know the COVID-19 came at a time when our great nation is not prepared. However, your ministry is able tocome up with a development and provision of distance learning materials, the use of TV and radio as a medium to dispense learning, and the use of social media platforms such as WhatsApp, Facebook.
Hon. Minister, you will be surprised to know that there are kids in CRR who are not aware of the online classes conducted as listed above. Furthermore, most of them do not have access to Radio on either TV. Besides, their parents are farmers who live from hand to mouth. I have no doubt that as a mother you will be the least satisfied person to hear such a piece of horrific news in the 21st Century.
I submit to you that Edward Francis Small must be rolling in his grave. Since he is the champion of ‘‘no taxation without representation’’. Hon. Minister I was privy to saw the Alkalo’staxpayers book and to my surprised, these people are one of the most law-abiding citizens when it comes to the payment of tax. To and extent of paying for fire insurance too.
That has been said, they should also have their share of the national cake. Else it will be discriminatory as stated in Section 33 of the 1997 Constitution of The Gambia. Meanwhile, I will be pleased if you can take a tour to the rural Gambia and do a feasibility study to come up with a way forward and action plan for a better Gambia we want where all will be treated equally in terms of resources.