April 16, 2024

Gambia’s Children National Assembly hold 2nd ordinary debate

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By SULAYMAN WAAN

The Children National Assembly of The Gambia on Saturday converged at the National Assemble Chamber in Banjul for its second 2019 adjournment debate.

The session is funded by UNICEF and implemented by the National Youth Council.

The adjournment debate enables the children representatives to raise issues affecting the welfare of children across the country and transmit it to government through the ministry of Women, Child and Social Welfare.

The children National Assembly is responsible for raising children’s awareness on their rights; sensitize children to ensure they actively participate in the fight against HIV and AIDS, drug abuse, harmful traditional practices among others.

It as well trains children on life skills, advocacy, communication and others subjects that are relevant to children.

Speaking to the august gathering, Sarata Ceesay, speaker of the National Children Assembly expressed appreciation to government for its commitment to supporting the children while thanking the National Youth Council for supporting the Children Assembly to secure funds from UNICEF.

She said the assembly would enable the children to raise issues that are hampering their wellbeing in the society.

Lack of science laboratories in schools
Hon. Mariama Jallow, representative for Lower River Region expressed concern over lack of laboratories in schools that have science classes in her region.

She said this nightmare is affecting science students within LRR.

Hon. Jallow called on government through the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education to provide sufficient laboratories in the schools that have science classes in the region to ensure that science student have quality education.

Child labour
Hon. Sainabou Touray described child labour as a factor affecting the welfare of children in the Gambia, saying children are often assigned to carry containers of products to sell them around markets or car pack.

She called on government to enforce the Child- Labour Act so as to safeguard the children from such harmful activity.

Discrimination against disabled children
Hon. Alhagie Ceesay said: “Disable children are always discriminated in their schools because many teachers are not using sign language to ensure that the disabled persons like the deaf and hard of hearing understand what they are teaching.”

He suggested for government to put policies in place that can help address the issue of discrimination among children in the society, especially in schools.

Need to enforce 2015 FGM Law
Hon. Fatoumatta Jammeh called on government to enforce the 2015 Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Law so as to protect the girl-child from this harmful traditional practice.

Speaking further she said the society should end the culture of silence as well as favouritism concerning FGM cases, adding that all perpetrators of FGM should be reported to the concern authorities so that drastic measures are taken.

Sexual abuse
Hon. Mariama Jallow expressed disappointments about sexual abuse that teenagers are encountering in the country, saying that young girls are always abused sexually in public places such as markets, car parks and streets.

“Even teachers are abusing their students (girls). When they approach us (girls) if we refuse they would deduct our marks,” he revealed.

However, she called on government to enlighten teenagers on the ongoing sexual abuse in the society.

Teenage pregnancy
Hon. Biram Cham said teenage pregnancy is the major problem of teenagers in the Central River Region, noting that this nightmare is affecting the education of teenagers within their region.

Meanwhile, other representatives highlighted  other factor affecting children’s wellbeing in the country, citing lack of enough playing grounds, insufficient learning materials in schools, inadequate school buses among others.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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