By Ndey Sowe
Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) Louis Moses Mendy, on Wednesday April 6th 2022, presided over the launch of the first virtual conference initiative with various Regional Education Directorates.
The initiative is launched with a view to coordinate and strengthening education service delivery across the different Regional Education Directorates. The Video Conference Platform also allows different Regional Education Offices to share best practices and discuss the way forward.
Mendy hailed and encouraged Regional Education Directorates whom he described as the operational arm of MoBSE.
“Understanding the important role that digital technology plays in Education Service Delivery, MoBSE is working on providing internet connectivity across the designated Regional Education Directorates to maximise out-put,” he said.
All regional education directorates that joined the virtual conference, commended MoBSE’s senior management for the laudable initiative.
On April 5th during the build-up to the Continental Curriculum Conference, Deputy Police Commissioner Balajo, a member of the Conference steering sub-committee on security, organized a meeting at the Police Headquarters with other security units to discuss serious contingency plans as per security deployment ahead of the Continental Curriculum Conference scheduled from 23rd to 26th May, 2022.
Dr. Burama LJ Jammeh is currently working with his successor, Director Momodou Jeng and the steering committee to organise a successful Curriculum Conference. Dr. Burama is a member of the Africa Curriculum Association (ACA) and the decision for the Gambia to host this important Conference was reached during his tenure in office.
MoBSE Minister described Dr. Burama’s decision to support MoBSE ahead of the Curriculum Conference as a patriotic move and a demonstration for his love for the Gambia.
Thirty-seven schools across six regional education directorates have already benefited from the virtual classroom, which is an offline e-learning platform that allows students to access lessons through SD Card using Android phones and Windows Computers.
The pilot program which caters for schools in rural Gambia, targets students in Grades 7, 8 and 9 at the Upper Basic School level, with the aim of providing them with supplementary learning materials as well as keeping them busy while they are at home.
The use of SD Card as a tool for learning was applauded by many as one of the most significant programs piloted in Gambian schools in recent years.
Bakary Sonko and Tida Kora of Kwinella Upper Basic and Dampha Kunda Basic Cycle Schools respectively, highlighted the importance of this opportunity available to students, looking at the learning challenges in rural communities.
“I hope every student in the Gambia will be given this opportunity,” Sonko said.
For most students, this is a turning point in the country’s education sector as it will help a great deal towards their attainment of quality education. The deployment of SD Cards in schools will continue as many other schools are expected to benefit from the initiative.
Meanwhile, the Gambia is set to host a Continental Curriculum Conference in May, 2022, and MoBSE is currently working with the Africa Curriculum Association (ACA), the UNESCO- International Bureau of Education (IBE) and other local and international partners, to stage the conference scheduled from the 23rd to 26th of May, 2022, under the theme: “education technology and curriculum alignment in the new era.”
The conference will bring together 150 delegates, including Directors of all Curriculum Centres across Africa, and local and international curriculum experts, to exchange and discuss on the theme.
Speaking during a steering committee meeting ahead of this conference, both MoBSE Minister and permanent secretary emphasised the importance of the forthcoming conference in the sector’s drive towards the attainment of quality education.