People in the Media (YPM), in partnership with the United Nations International
Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF), Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education
(MoBSE) and Regional Child Protection Committees have recently concluded
children holiday education camp, under the theme: Every child in school.
Held at Trans-Gambia lodge in Mansakonko, Lower River Region, the camp brought together children from Lower and Upper Basic Schools with the 6 regional education directorates, targeting to positively change the negative perception of children on schooling and education.
It is also geared towards reducing the number of out of school children, increase school completion and contribute to improve learning outcomes.
Abdou Jatta, YPM national executive coordinator and UNESCO Media Literacy and Information (MLI) global youth ambassador said the camp creates an opportunity for children and young people to learn and share ideas on various thematic areas, including interpersonal and motivation skills development and the Sustainable Development Goals.
He said during the camp, organisers and the children visited families within the host community to meet out-of-school children and encouraged them to go back to school.
Mr. Jatta noted that extra curricula activities like debate, quiz and sport competitions were conducted during the camp which were all gear towards contributing to the holistic development and motivation of the participants.
He said the camp created a generation of children that will be drivers of peace building and community mobilisation for the realisation of children’s’ right to education.
Lower River Region deputy education Directorate Musa Bah said, the camp will expose the students to social and cultural values in The Gambia and several Articles and Conventions that are designed to protect and give them necessary support they need as future leaders.
Mr. Bah expressed the ministry’s unweaving commitment to improve and sustain gains in terms of access, relevance and quality education for all.
He said they have registered significant achievement in the area of education performance indicators, saying in the ministry’s last annual publication in May 2018, Gross Enrollment Rate (GER) in Lower Basic Schools was 112.7% and Net Enrollment (NER) was 89.30% while the GER for Early Childhood Development (ECD) level (3- 6) was 52.10%.
She expressed appreciation to UNICEF and Young People in the Media for their continuous support especially in the area of ECD. She commended UNICEF support to regions in their community engagement activities on inclusive education which, he said have made significant improvement.
Nuha Jatta, UNICEF’s education specialist said the holiday camp provided an opportunity for children to get on the right path to reflect on who and what they want to be, interacting with peers through plays, discussion and debates buy building personality features such as respect for themselves and others, dignity, tolerance and belief, honesty and adherence to democratic values.