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City Limits, Unique FM to broadcast first bilingual french lessons

May 7, 2012, 1:58 PM | Article By: Lamin B. Darboe

City Limits and Unique FM radio stations on Kairaba Avenue and Bakau Newtown highway respectively, in collaboration with the French Co-operation Project for support of French Language (PAFEG), from Monday to Friday this week, will start broadcasting the first bilingual French lessons in The Gambia produced by Radio France International (RFI).

The platform of the program, which mainly targets students and teachers, will help in the teaching of French language in Gambian schools.

With this program, it is expected that other people will also build interest in French language.

This was disclosed to the press last Thursday during a press briefing organised by the French Teacher’s Association of The Gambia at their main office along Kairaba Avenue.

The PAFEG, therefore, seeks to develop the francophone environment and give support to the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) to put French as a core subject in the schools.

According to the officials, PAFEG also supports the UTG and the Gambia College to train new French teachers.

They noted that the pleasure of listening to a captivating story in episodes makes the listener familiar with French.

“These two programs at both City Limits and Unique FM radio stations will enhance the francophone environment and boost use of French lessons, as radio is an interesting tool for learning,” the officials stated.

The officials said that for those who want to deepen their discovery of French, in addition to the serial, some educational tools are available in newspapers or through the internet and allow the listeners to work off-side in autonomy or in class and once motivated by the radio broadcast, the listener will then use the written tools to extend his or her knowledge.

Mrs Ida Jallow-Sallah, National Coordinator of French at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE), said “French will be considered as a core subject but the idea is still ambitious” and her ministry has decided to pilot the program from the Lower Basic schools to the Upper Basic.

“Actually, only six schools at the Lower Basic level have been piloted while at the Upper Basic school level, 130 schools have been piloted, which means that, not all the Lower Basic schools have been piloted except for six schools,” she said, noting that in every educational region of this country, they have selected only one school.

The idea is in perspective, she stated, saying it’s really good the outcome of this pilot program are satisfactory.

The MoBSE wants to extend the program to the point that in 2016 the teaching and learning of French in The Gambian schools should be compulsory as decided by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education as far as the teaching and learning of French in The Gambian schools is concerned.

Both the proprietor of City Limits, Babacarr Cham and head of production and  the program manager of Unique FM Radio Stations Saidou Jallow said their stations “will start broadcasting the program from Monday to Friday this week”.