The Mission Statement of the Department of State for Education is embodied in the statement "A Responsive, Relevant and Quality Education for All Gambians". The Department of State for Education is resolved to provide access to quality education to develop a computer literate and technologically competent populace with renewed emphasis on Science, Technology, Agriculture and the Arts in developing a productive and capable human resource base for the new millennium.
National Declaration on Education
1. Aware of the fact that tomorrow's world will be shaped by our children's vision of it and the need to use education to help shape that vision;
2. Recognizing the increasing importance of education and its greater impact on creativity and vitality as well as being instrumental in enabling people to live fulfilling lives;
3. Conscious of the fact educational challenges are universal and the responses to them must be reflective of the best and the most distinctive in our self and society;
4. Realising that educational decisions go beyond the boards of education and the imperative need to forget partnership and alliances with the private and informal sector;
5. Appreciating the need for broad based educational reforms in response to the changing needs of the time to meet the hopes and expectations that society vests in education;
6. Knowing that more of the same will not be sufficient to achieve our goals of poverty alliviation and the attainment of vision 2020 and;
My Government therefore, through the Department of State for Education,has mustered the courage to revise the 1988-2003 Education Policy, to inject fresh ideas and to promote a broader vision of how the basic learning needs of all can be met;
My Government stands firmly committed to the expansion and reform of the education system to ensure quality, relevance and equity. In doing so, we are determined to provide learning opportunities for children, youth and adults including under-served groups and those with special needs. Alongside these general efforts science and technology education will be promoted nation-wide.
The Principal objectives of education will henceforth be:
- To achieve nine years basic education for every Gambian child with at least 50% transition rate to Scondary Education
- To promote the acquisition of skills and the establishment of life long learning which is responsive to the learning needs of the socio-economic environment rather than mere participation and certification requirements. In tandem with the aforementioned will be the improvement of quality and relevance of education, the development of vocational and technical education, adult literacy, the improved pre- and in-service teacher training and the establishment of a National University. As a transversal component, particular stress will be placed not only on the provision of education for girls but also on increased performance and retention of girls.
To facilitate the dictates of the policy, the support services of the sector will be rationalised to provide the necessary back-up services and supply. Related logistics will be effectively provided and standards and quality effectively monitored. In line with the performance indicators set, a management information system will be put in place to provide the required data on the state of the art answering the critical management issues of what, how, why, when and where to facilitate information sharing.
To ensure that the revised education policy focuses on educational innovation in practice rather than discourse its implementation is informed by the Public Expenditure Review. A Master Plan has provided a National Agenda on Education including in built stategies for forging partnership and alliances with private and informal sectors, thus, henceforth making education the concern of every Gambian. I therefore, urge all Gambians to make education a shared responsibility to ensure Gambians everywhere unite around shared values in defence of a common interest.
An implementation Schedule has been drawn up to guide the delivery process within a set time frame in order to ensure targets are met on time.
Done in Banjulingding on this 29 day of May 1998 Anno Domino.
Sealed and signed:
H.E. Rt. Col. Alhagi Yaya A J J Jammeh
PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA