A lineup of a venerable panel of judges was inaugurated Friday to assess applications and nominations for the National Teacher Prize of The Gambia 2024. The three-women, four-gentlemen panel is led by former President of The Gambia Teachers Union, Mr. Omar J. Ndure, and deputized by retired educationist Madam Rohie Silla.
Three of the judges directly came from retirement as educators. In contrast, two came from educational institutions like The Gambia College School of Education, the Department of Education of the University of The Gambia, two additional representatives from the Association of NGOs (TANGO), and the National School Management Committees of The Gambia.
The judges will assess the applications based on merit, conduct interviews with the applicants, conduct school visits, and collect firsthand information on the work and applicants to inform their decisions in reviewing, shortlisting, and selecting regional and national winners for the prize.
The inauguration was presided over by Mr. Essa Sowe, Deputy General Secretary of the Gambia Teachers Union, on behalf of the Organising Committee of the National Teacher Prize, as an initiative of a Gambian NGO, The Namie Foundation.
In a video message, Mr Alhassan Susso, Chairman of the Namie Foundation, thanked the judges for taking up the challenge to serve on the panel, having served as a judge himself in a similar capacity in the US Teacher Prize. He described improving teaching and motivating teachers as “a life journey.” He welcomed judges to be a part of this journey.
“The initiative seeks to honor and recognize excellence in teaching while using it as a platform to raise national awareness, inspire and motivate educators, and foster collaboration for improved education service delivery,” said Mr. Essa Sowe on behalf of the Selection Sub Committee of the National Teacher Prize 2024.
After deliberations, the impaneled Judges selected veteran educationist and unionist Mr. Omar J. Ndure as chairperson. He thanked the Committee, “grateful and appreciative” that they are considered out of many.
“The task is difficult, considering the number of teachers from regional to national level. What’s important is the purpose of the recognition as teachers need encouragement,” Mr Ndure said.
Other panel members include Dr. Abdoulie Jadama as Secretary, Mr. Momodou A. Jallow as a member, Emily Gomez as a member, Tabou Njie Sarr as a member, and Mr. Mbemba Jawara as a member.