UNICEF, MoBSE held summer holiday camp for students

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

United Nations International Child Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in partnership with Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE), yesterday concluded a five-day holiday camp for school children under the theme: Asking for commitments for children right. The camp was held at Friendship Hotel in Bakau.

The project is aimed at cultivating and nurturing knowledge and awareness of sustainable development goals in children and also to appreciate the peaceful co-existence achieved in the implementation phase of the project.

Gambia is a party to both the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Child (CRC) and African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, which accord children the right to express their thoughts and opinion. The 2016-2030 Education Policy of The Gambia also emphasizes education for children as a right and not a privilege.

Basic and Secondary Education minister Claudiana .A. Cole said the government has always recognized the fundamental significance of peace-building in the process of offering quality and inclusive education. “We believe peace is the prerequisite for progress,” she said.

She added that sustainable development goals have targets to create education awareness in school children and peace-building, developing skills such as creative thinking, public speaking, decision-making process, interpersonal communication and problem solving through debate, team sports, quiz, school clubs and community engagement approaches adding that these will go a long way in developing the children.

She said the project will help children to become agents of peace, while encouraging teachers to use the classroom to foster discussions respectfully and positively and to allow the students to better understand issues and be prepared to deal with issues they are confronted with.

United Nations representative, Sandra Latouff said the children holiday camp is intended to provide another learning space using interactive methodologies such as drama, quiz, debate, interpersonal communications and sports. “UNICEF and partners are convinced that not all learning happens within the classroom,” she added.

She highlighted that the voices of children should be heard in matters that affect them including their survival and development she also said children should be able to influence their peers towards positive and healthy lifestyle.

Author: Fatou O Barrow & Moses Emmanuel Mendy