Jun 18, 2013, 12:06 PM
Jole Rider Foundation in the UK recently donated 326 bicycles to students of West Coast, Central River and Upper River Regions at a ceremony held in Gunjur village, Kombo South District.
The beneficiary schools included Mayork Senior Secondary School, Ndemban Upper Basic School, Jahanka Basic Cycle School, Jimbala Basic Cycle School and Fatoto Senior Secondary School.
The donation is complementary to the previous assistance given to various schools within the country with the ultimate aim of reaching all the regions of the country.
In handing over the bicycles to the beneficiaries, Sorry Ceesay representative of the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education spoke at length on the importance of education and the usefulness of bikes to students.
“The Gambia has attained the objectives of the Education for All (EFA) project, as the government is relentless in the effort to take education to higher heights,” he said.
Ceesay noted that the government is aware of the support the foundation is giving to the education sector promising that they would continue to give their support as well.
He finally urged the beneficiaries to take good care of the bicycles as it would ease their movement to and from the schools.
Speaking earlier Jole Rider’s director of programmes, Babucarr Boyo Touray, said education is key to development, adding that currently they are in partnership with 86 schools in The Gambia and are hoping to reach out to more schools across the country.
According to him, they have already delivered over 10,800 bicycles, and are closely monitoring the bicycles to ensure they serve their purpose and that maintenance services are conducted frequently.
Speaking on behalf of the Chief of Kombo South, Omar Bojang, noted that the aim of the Foundation is to support quality education and promote punctuality in schools. He also urged beneficiaries to be given the bicycles to students and pupils whom do trek one or more than 2 km to school.
The principal of Ndemban Upper Basic School, Salif Manneh, on behalf of the beneficiary schools, thanked Jole Rider for rendering such a donation to schools in the country.
He urged parents to give maximum support to their children and advised them not to be using the bicycles for their individual errands at home.