President Yahya Jammeh on Monday told Gambian students who gathered at the McCarthy Square in Banjul to witness activities marking the country’s 48th Independence Anniversary that the dress code of their teachers is not their business; rather they should focus on the knowledge the teacher is imparting in them.
|Students on a march-past during the 48th independence of The Gambia|
“You are not judges of your teachers; how does the teacher dress is not your business,” President Jammeh told the students. “It is not the teacher that is important but the knowledge that the teacher is imparting in you.
“If you have no discipline, let me assure you that you will fail in life; if you don’t respect your teachers, tomorrow you will be a teacher or a leader and nobody will respect you.”
The Gambian leader told students that Allah the Almighty reciprocates what one does to another. Therefore, he says, students should respect their teachers so they can also be respected tomorrow.
In the same vein, President Jammeh also called on parents, especially the fathers, to stop shying away from responsibilities and leaving all the burden of their schoolchildren on the mothers.
He said: “If you don’t take responsibility for your children today, if they grow up and graduate, they will only know those who took responsibility of them when they were young, and that is their mothers and then you will start telling the mother ‘you have turned my children against me’. No! You turn your own children against you. So, take responsibility and tomorrow they will know who you are.”
To the students again, President Jammeh said students now have facilities that were not there during his time of going to school. He urged the students therefore to make best use of the facilities available to them by working hard and be serious about their education.
“For you to get rich or get a better future, you have to work hard for it,” the President said, while emphasising that students should take their education seriously.
Without education, he notes, The Gambia and Africa at large can never get out of poverty because “our biggest disease today is ignorance and ignorance cannot be eradicated by any type of political philosophy but through education”.
“That is why education is dear to my heart; that is why for you The Gambian children the sky is very close; now the outer space will be the limit,” Jammeh said.
“As long as you are serious - my policy is not whom you know but what you know; my policy is not what tribe you belong to but how well you are ready to perform; my policy is not which village you come from but how dedicated you are to national development.”
Solution to Africa’s poverty
According to President Jammeh, if Africa is to get rid of the shackles of abject poverty, the continent must unite and work together.
He noted that Africa is the richest continent in terms of mineral resources, but in economic terms and real financial terms it is the poorest of the poor.
He said this is because instead of working together, working for each other, Africans are working against each other for external interest.
“Instead of building peace and economic development, we (Africans) are building military arsenals attacking one another, killing ourselves,” he said.
This is why, he noted, the story of the African child is the refugee camp, the story of African woman is destitution in a refugee camp, which “is very sad”.
“The almighty Allah will not come down to stop it, we the African leaders should avoid violence. Nobody will stop the violence on the continent for us,” he remarked.
“As we fight our resources go outside of the African continent, as we get poorer, forces outside of the African continent are getting richer.”
Gambians on Monday, 18 February 2013, celebrated the 48th year since The Gambia gained independence from Great Britain on 18 February 1965, becoming the last of the four British West African territories to attain independence from their colonial masters. Others are Ghana, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.
The Presidents of Senegal and Equatorial Guinea, Macky Sall and Teodoro Obiang Nguema, respectively, were among the high calibre dignitaries that graced the occasion.