Education & Resource Center for Children. Kids posing for camera

Solomon Ifeanyi Nathaniel – Education and Resource Center

The level of education has considerably improved in The Gambia, but illiteracy is still rampant. Nearly half of adult population, age 15 and above cannot read and write. In 2015, the government gives free and compulsory education to all children from basic to secondary school. But teaching of subjects such as English, mathematics and sciences are inadequate because of insufficient supply of textbooks. The West African Secondary school Examination result released in 2016 is an indication of growing demand to improve the learning achievements of children and young people. Out of 11,659 Gambian pupils who sat for the West African Senior Secondary Certificate exams only 444 scored five or more credits, including English, science, or mathematics and certainly, most of these children who obtained credits are from private and faith-based operated schools, and not from public schools. Illiteracy has negative consequences on the whole family, for the reason that a parent that hasn’t received an education, is not able to get a good job and is not able to pay the school fees for his children. Unfortunately the same parent cares very little about the size of his family, thereby creating a vicious circle of poor families transmitted from generation to generation. Through increasing access to free study facilities, textbooks, coaching, and tutors for poor children and young people especially girls, and skills training for poor youth and women, this project aims to give a concrete possibility of social and economic empowerment to the adults of tomorrow and to all their families.

This project addresses the issues of human suffering, youth unemployment, poverty, illiteracy, gender discrimination, social exclusion and marginalization. The project is addressing the above issues by increasing underprivileged children and young people access to free study facilities, learning materials such as textbooks, access to mentors, and tutors, teaching young people and children technical skills that will enable them to succeed, skills such as computer skills, graphic design, basic coding and computer programming, increasing awareness on the importance of education, providing basic literacy education to unschooled adult and young people, especially, teenage mothers, women and youths, and offering entrepreneurial training and income generating skills to unskilled youths to become self-reliance and abstain from crossing the Mediterranean Sea to Europe by road.

Receiving the initial seed grant support from TPP was very important. As a result of the seed grant we were able us to kick start this needful project since 2017.

Receiving this larger award will enable us to grow this project and continue working towards meeting the project goals which includes increasing participation to 795 vulnerable young people, children, and youths and women living in and around Chupg Town Dippa-kunda, Kanifing Municipal by the end of 2019. Additionally, we will continue to improve the academic performances of children and young people in public schools, increasing school attendance and completion rates especially for girls and at risk students in schools with limited learning materials, and solving the problem of illiteracy by developing the intellectual abilities of young people and adults who have never been to school to reach their full potential as human beings and earn certificate that meets the same graduation requirements found in regular high schools.

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