Charity trustees Alan Seager, Julie Seager and Martin Englefield have returned from their recent visit to The Gambia following which they are able to report on progress as follows;

The school having opened on September 24 2012 the prime objective was to ensure teaching standards and requirements were being met in accordance with criteria set out by the trustees and teachers before the school opened. Mrs Jallow (head teacher) reported that Forebel and Montessori methods of teaching continue to be applied, she was happy pupils and teachers alike are at ease with the system and learning had progressed in line with charity requirements. All pupils including both those transferred from the old school and those new intakes last September could now count and read/write to an acceptable standard.

When the current first year has finished on July 26 Mrs Jallow will prepare a full year end report for charity trustees to review during their next planned visit in July, the report would cover in more detail progress to date and planned objectives for the following year to commence on September 23. It is anticipated during the summer holiday teachers will meet to discuss both their methods and practices to help improve teaching processes at the school, in particular focus will be on how performance can be measured when reviewing individual pupil and teacher performance.

Bakering Ceesay our least qualified teacher continues his training out of school at the University of Gambia, it is hoped by July he will be qualified to the same level as our other teacher Marie Sambou. Mrs Jallow would include details on Bakerings progress within her y/e report. If successful it will mean the charity has achieved another objective in training a teacher to qualified status, thus two teachers and head teacher will be qualified to standards set as requirement by the Gambian Ministry for Education. Charity trustees expect to meet with representatives of the UOG during their end of term visit in July, in addition to reviewing the progress of Bakering it will also be an opportunity to discuss training opportunities for Philomen Badjan currently working at the school as cleaner, child welfare and teacher assistant. Thus the charities aims become twofold ……. Developing children and teachers alike for public benefit and to allow children the opportunity of having free education they would otherwise not receive. This is therefore an advancement of education, to ultimately help the prevention and relief of poverty in future generations.

The location was chosen because the board of trustees found out most children in Sukuta are not attending school due to financial constraints. The school was built in Sukuta so children can have access to early childhood education at no cost. In future as funds grow trustees will try and locate other deprived areas that would benefit from free education so that hopefully the same model can be introduced.

Project manager and co-trustee Alan Seager said “I am very proud of the significant progress achieved in such a very short time, we are pleased all concerned are working together well for the good of the local community. We urge all our sponsors where possible to continue their generous support. Without their support this project would not have happened”.

FORTHCOMING FUNDRAISING EVENT The annual BASIG golf event, the Charities prime source of funding, is nearly upon us and will take place in May on Friday 17th. The Trustees can report all team places now full with 32 teams (128 players) participating during the day and a further 30 supporters attending evening presentation and dinner. It is hoped the event will secure enough funds to put the school on a safe financial footing and cover running costs for at least the next two years. Report and progress will follow on this news page soon after the event.