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Three Classroom Blocks Opened in Sanneh Mentereng

Apr 7, 2008, 9:13 AM | Article By: By Abdou Rahman Sallah

Socialis for The Gambia recently inaugurated three classroom blocks at the Sanneh Mentereng Kindergarten and Lower Basic School in Ghana Town (Brufut) in Kombo North Western Region.

In her speech the Regional Education Director for Region two, Madam Mati Buoye, spoke at length on the importance of education. She said that educating the future leaders of the country is a step in the right direction. She then commended Socialis for The Gambia for complementing government efforts in providing quality, accessible and free education for all the pupils of the school.

For his part, the coordinator of Socialis for The Gambia, Mr. Habib Beyai, said Sanneh Mentereng School started operations in 1999 with a total enrollment of 60. At this time it was a nursery school only. It later increased its enrollment to 378 pupils and was both a nursery and lower basic primary school with a double stream up to grade four. 195 of the pupils are boys and 183 are girls. He said this was all thanks to Ms Brigitte Flick a German philanthropist and the pioneer of the school. According to Mr. Beyai, Ms Flick was in The Gambia on holiday in 1998 and thought it was important to establish a school in Ghana Town. The idea was brought to the former Alkalo of Brufut Pa Khalifa Sanneh who, without hesitation, allocated a plot of land for the school to be established.

Mr. Beyai further disclosed that Socialis for The Gambia and Sanneh Mentereng in particular are household names in Brufut. He said, "we are here to compliment the government's drive to provide accessible, relevant, quality and free education for all."

He pointed out that all the sponsors are considering expanding the school from grade to complete the basic cycle. This is pending approval from the Department of State for Education. In order to promote competition and academic performance among pupils it is hoped that the best 50% from grade six will be able to proceed to grade nine at no cost to their parents.

He added that presently arrangements are underway to acquire more land for a skills training centre for young dropouts. These early school leavers could receive training in areas such as carpentry, welding and sewing thereby allowing them a chance at a self-sustaining life.

Mr. Manfred Weigl, Vice-President of Socialis for The Gambia, thanked and commended Hatab Beyai for a job well done. He said that without him the school would not have become a reality. Mr. Weigl added that a technical workshop is being planned for the future to equip young people with a trade.

Amongst the speakers were Adama Cham Nam, Mr. Jeng and the Alkalo of Brufut. All expressed their belief in the importance of education for young people.

The gathering was treated to a drama show by the grade one pupils and also a cultural dance routine.