#National News

Meet Ida Ndow Ceesay: Ex- GCAA staff whose school is worth D20M

Jun 11, 2021, 5:38 PM | Article By: Jarra Cham

Ida Ndow Ceesay, former security staff of The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) and now the proprietress of BYMYRA, has spoke highly of her plans to contribute positively towards the development of the country’s education sector.

Madam Ceesay, started with a nursery school in 1993 with fewer people before rebranding it to -BYMYRA International School -The Gambia, which is now worth 20 million dalasis.

According to her, she has now totally transformed her institution catering for pupils in both primary and secondary schools.

In an interview with The Point, Madam Ceesay explained that she adopted the school name while teaching in BYMYRA, Norway, and that the word is Norwegian, which simply means ‘greener pasture’.

The school, she said, has a current pupil population of 200, adding that it has projectors in all classes with personal laptops and lockers for both students and teachers.

Madam Ceesay indicated that the school has 27 toilets, over 28 staff, a music house, a tailoring shop for school uniforms, a CCTV camera, amongst other valuable equipment.

This, she added, is all designed to promote student and staff safety and to operate in a best conducive environment for learning.

“Education is something I put my hands on in the most positive way and my biggest achievement is to see that this institution is bigger and better. I work very hard and I invested a lot in other things but whatever I have, I bring it back to the school. I’m not in a hurry, because I know that I’m putting into something worthy.” she added.

Although, the school is on its path to making name, she emphasised that they are not here for quantity, but to ensure quality.

Work ethics in Gambia a challenge

Despite financial constraints, Madam Ceesay said that her biggest challenge in their operations is work ethics, as most people have poor attitude towards respecting work ethics in The Gambia.

“My biggest challenge here is the working staff. Work ethics in this country is very poor because a lot of people don’t respect their jobs. For me, work must be done on time and in the most proper way.”

She observed that lateness is not something the school condones and that her employees are not allowed to use their mobile phones while lessons are on.

 “If you are late in BYMYRA, you are deducted and my teachers are not allowed to use phones during lessons. If you caught using phone, your salary is deducted because I understand that, people only understand what you want to say if you pitch their salary from them. Generations have changed, our foresight needs to change.”

She, however, advised women to strive to be totally independent and stop relying on men, saying generations have changed and the foresight of women needs to change.

 “If you have a passion and a drive of where you are going, success is your name. There is no shame in starting something and fail. I have done so many businesses and failed in the process, but I have never left the school.” she urged.

Established in 2011, the school now has facility to accommodate up to 400 pupils.