The education sector has, and continues to, be among the top priorities of the Jammeh administration since the advent of the Great July 22nd Revolution that was ushered in to revolutionise all sectors of national development.
With a view to making education more accessible and affordable for every Gambian child irrespective of social, religious or political background, the numerous schools built in the last 22 years are land mark testimonies across the country.
For a region that used to have only one senior school in Armitage, before 1994, the Central River Region can now boast of the construction of so many primary, junior and senior schools. These developments have now deterred the tendency of students struggling to go to school in the urban area and allow them to stay with their families throughout their schooling.
The “22nd July Development Caravan” visited Bansang Senior School where the students shared their own story on how the successes in the education sector have impacted their lives.
Jai Mbye a student said: “student life in our school is very normal because students are very disciplined and they adhere to the advice of the teachers.” The establishment of the school, she said, has been very good for the people of Bansang and surrounding villages.
“It was difficult for us before, because to attend school, we had to go to Armitage in Janjangbureh or the Kombos, but those are things of the past now as we walk just few kilometers and get to the school.”
On free education for girls, Miss Mbye welcomed the initiative and expressed special thanks to the President. “In the past a lot of girls dropped out of school because their parents could not afford to continue paying their school fees. The parents would withdraw them from school and give them (girls) out for marriage but that has drastically reduced,” she told the Caravan. According to her, the President has impacted positively on the lives of rural children.
Recently, the President declared a ban on child marriage and the development is highly welcomed by Gambians. Jai Mbye is quite aware of the complications that come with the practice and thanked the President for empowering the girl child.
Saidou B Camara, head boy of the School, described the construction of the School as a great achievement. “The academic competition is very high because we have brilliant students who do not need to travel to the Kombos for senior school education.”
Saffiatou Ndimbalan, another student of Bansang was quite happy with the establishment of the school.
Aja Nyanya Darboe, head girl of Bansang SSS said President Jammeh is the best gift that God has blessed them with, adding that the President’s priority to see every Gambian well educated, especially girls, is an interest that motivates them throughout. “We are so proud of him and will continue to deliver to make him proud too,” she affirmed.
Ali S. Conteh, assistant head boy, said access to quality education is now easier in the rural areas than the urban centres, saying schools are built everywhere and school buses are also provided for transporting students from various locations. “Bansang SSS is grateful to the President for the magnanimous gesture he has been rendering to us,” he added.
The Principal of the School, Ismaila Ceesay, said President Jammeh’s transformative support in ensuring the provision of quality education for citizens of CRR and the country at large is seen and appreciated by them.
“Jammeh has been supportive to us even before his government built this school in 2008. The school is equipped with series of facilities that are tremendously facilitating teaching, learning and other crucial areas,” he added.
by Alieu Ceesay & Modou Lamin Jammeh on tour