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Four new French textbooks launched

Oct 31, 2013, 10:32 AM | Article By: Halimatoou Ceesay

The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education in collaboration with the French Technical Cooperation on Tuesday launched four newly developed French text books for The Gambia and Upper Basic Schools.

The programme, which was held at the Regional Education Directorate one office in Kanifing, was witnessed by education officials and partners from across the country.

Delivering his launching statement on behalf of the minister, Baboucarr Bouye, PS of Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, said the event formed yet another milestone in the implementation of the current education policy.

He said it is a clear manifestation of the Government’s position on French Language as a core subject.

This means that they shall eventually have all Gambian children to acquire functional literacy in French by the time they complete basic education, he added.

Mr Boye said textbooks as manual of instruction or a standard book in any branch of study have to be produced according to the demand of an educational institution.

Noting that although most textbooks are only published in printed format as the ones they launched, many are now available on line too.

He said the importance of textbooks in schools cannot be over-emphasized as they are the most useful tools for instructors.

He said many studies have shown that teachers adhere closely to textbooks in the planning of their lessons and that source 85% to 95% of instructional activities.

PS Bouye said the role of languages in propelling national development is key, which is why the Government of The Gambia through his ministry endeavors to make policy pronouncement on the teaching of French language a core subject in the school system.

This pronouncement, he said, is being followed by concrete action implementing, among others, a pilot project on the teaching of French in 126 schools across all regions of the country.

This includes 119 Upper Basic and 7 Lower Basic schools, he said, adding that the project is being implemented in collaboration with their development partners mainly the French Technical Cooperation and French Teachers Association.

For his part, Mr Jean Marc Transon, Charge D’ Affairs for the French Embassy, said his own role is to guide Yousef Arrif and his technical team, noting that he is just a diplomat and not a technician.

He thanked all those who supported the publication of the books to make it a success, especially the team.

For his part, Andrew Sambou, French National Coordinator, in giving an overview of the books, said the main thrust of the manual is to work and strengthen linguistic, communicative and cultural skills of students.

He said all the four competencies are included in the books and the manual is built on the basis of a systematic and progressive approach enameled both a cognitive footprint, communicative and task based.

Meanwhile, at the event, certificates of appreciation were given to the Charge D’ Affair for the French embassy and the directors of Gacem, Gamtel and Gamcel for their support to the French project.