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The Education For All campaign Network-The Gambia (EFANET) joined the rest of the world to commemorate the Global Action Week of Education (GAWE) from the 23rd to the 29 of April 2017. The theme for this year’s commemoration is “Ensuring Accountability for SDG4 and Active Citizen Participation”.

The theme highlighted the importance of transparent, accountable and participatory governance for delivering fully on the SDG4 agenda. Through SDG4-Education 2030, all countries including, The Gambia committed in 2015 to ensuring inclusive and equitable quality education and promoting lifelong learning opportunities for all. So in 2017, it is time for the government to prove that they are working towards this goal.

The GAWE 2017 brings together all relevant stakeholders including policy makers, legislators, parents, teachers, students and the to demand action for education, with the slogan “Stand up for Education: Time to Deliver”. As part of this year’s GAWE, the coalition conducted various activities. A television talk show on the MoBSE Education Forum and radio programs were held as well as a media campaign on various newspapers and social media raise awareness among citizens.

This year highlight event Bantaba“was hosted by EFANet’s Regional Chapter 2-Foni on Saturday 29th April 2017 at Saint Joseph Family Farm in Bwiam. EFANet was delighted to have so many participants and panelists from the Government and civil society. We were particularly honored by the presence of Ms Claudiana Cole, the honorable Minister of Basic and Secondary Education. The programme began with a procession accompanied by the Scout band and traditional communicators (Kanyelng) from the main highway to the Saint Joseph’s Family Farm were the invited guests converged to witness the rest of the activities.

After a warm welcome by the Bwiam Alkalo, Zono Jammeh-EFANet Board Chair opened the discussion by reminding the audience the purpose of the gathering and efforts required for the set targets. She noted that the theme of the GAWE 2017 couldn’t have come at a better time.

The Hon. Minister of Basic and Secondary Education reminded audience that the Government will fulfill its constitutional provision of providing education as a fundamental human right for All in the Gambia. In this regards, Ms. Cole assured the audience that MoBSE is committed to work in collaboration with stakeholders to ensure a credible road map in delivering accessible, quality and relevant education. She also stated the will of the Government to widen the space for civil society and to encourage active citizen participation in the education processes.

In the same vein the CEO of Brikama area council, Bakary Saibou Sanneh mentioned that “Education for All must also be bear by All”. He stressed the right of the children and young people to be included in the implementation and the tracking of the SDG4 and that the Government must increase their participation. In his keynote statement, Mr Omar Ousman Jobe, the Executive Director of A.

Plus Gambia, a foundation of Non State Actors which strive to promote and enhance good governance principles in the Gambian underscored the importance of ensuring accountability for SDG4 by public authorities, private sector and civil society through complementing each other work and active citizen participation. .

For their part, Mr. Idi Bah, the manager of Easter Foni-Dinding Bantaba Federation and the Education Program Specialist Bakary Fadera, representing the executive director of Action aid, all emphasized the role of civil society in making progress in education in the Gambia based on figures and illustration. Finally, the day’s activities ended cheerfully with a drama, song and poem presentation by local students.