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Kotukala school holds prize giving ceremony, pays tribute to late proprietor

Mar 16, 2016, 10:11 AM | Article By: Cherno Omar Bobb

Kotukala Nursery and Lower Basic School in Sukuta on Friday held a speech and prize giving ceremony where deserving students were awarded.

The event also served as a day to remember the late proprietor of the school, Ismaila Cham.

Speaking on the occasion, Farba Joof, guest speaker, said it was in 2009 that he took up the job as a cluster monitor and was deployed to the cluster when the school was a nursery.

“Through my interactions with teachers, pupils, and the administration of the school, I observed that the school was doing very well in academics.So I recommended to the then headmaster, the late Ismaila Cham, to register the school as a lower basic school,” he said.

“Mr Cham readily accepted the idea and sent an application and in 2010 the school was given approval by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education to start a lower basic school.But because of some constrains, the lower basic started operation in 2011 with a class of 34 pupils,” Mr Joof added.

The school registered the first batch of grade 3 pupils to sit to the National Assessment Test (NAT) in 2014.

“The results showed a 100% pass rate: 52% mastery in English language, 50% mastery in mathematics, and 71% mastery in Integrated Studies,” Mr Joof said.

Another batch of students was registered for the 2015 NAT and the result was even better.

“The results again showed a 100% pass rate: 70% mastery in English language, 58% mastery in mathematics, and 65% mastery in Integrated Studies,” he explained.

In that exam, the total highest mark scored in the cluster was by Modou L. Darboe, a pupil of Kotukala Lower Basic School, who got a total mark of 296 out of 300, the cluster monitor said.

Mr Joof described the performance of the pupils as remarkable and promising while commending the school teachers and administration for the conscious efforts they have been making in maintaining academic excellence.

He further applauded parents for showing concern in the education of their children.

Mr Joof also appealed to friends and philanthropists of the school to continue their support in the interest of the children.

He said:“The Ministry [of Education] cannot do it all alone and therefore appreciates every effort made in promoting quality education.”

Omar B. Ceesay, head teacher at Kotukala Nursery and Lower Basic School, commended his fellow teachers for their dedication and hard work.

He explained that they (the teachers) have set standards for themselves as a way of maintaining quality and academic excellence at the school

Mr Ceesay noted that the school has participated in spelling bee competitions and did extremely well.

However, he said the school can do even much better when its challenges like late payment of students school fees, library expansion and maintenance, lack of a computer classroom, are taken care of.

The head teacher also paid tribute to the late founder of the school, Mr Cham.

Abdou Jassey, chairman of the school board of directors, said the late Cham’s aim was to widen access to and develop education particularly early childhood development within the area.

He further described the late Cham as someone who was devoted, humbled, disciplined and hard working.

Furthermore, Mr Jassey thanked everyone who has contributed to the advancement of the school in one way or the other.

He noted that the school management, teachers and pupils are working tirelessly in ensuring that the school becomes a centre of excellence for learning.

Richard Renee, a donor of the school, said he had  a discussion with the late Cham’s family on how to continue his work.

As the donors, he promised that he will continue to support the school board in the development of the school.

Kebba Cham, a brother to the late Ismaila Cham, said to maintain the academic excellence of the school, both teachers and parents need to work collaboratively to make sure that the children concentrate on their education.

Towards the end of the event, the school children also paid tribute to the late proprietor, Mr Cham.

The ceremony was enlivened by drama performances: the nursery school played a drama on the importance of education of the girl child while the lower basic school did on timely payment of school fees.