Africa > West Africa > Gambia > Gambia Education Profile

Gambia: Gambia Education Profile

2012/03/12

·education in the gambia

The Gambia is on track to achieving the education-related MDGs. The school enrolment rate is improving. In the 2008/09 academic year, the overall gross enrolment rate (GER) at the Lower Basic level stood at 92% with significant progress recorded for girls’ enrolment. The Gambia is also on track to achieve its target, 70%, of completion rate to Grade 6 by 2011, with current rates of 65% for boys and 72% for girls. The GER at the Upper Basic level has reached 62% for boys and 58% for girls. Nonetheless, construction of additional classrooms at the rate 150 per annum since 2007 fell short of the annual target of 250 classrooms.

The main challenge in the transition to higher levels of education comes from a mismatch between the skills and technology demanded by agricultural and industrial activities and those supplied by schools, which focus on language, literature, mathematics and the social sciences. Owing to problems of quality and relevance, most young people, although literate, are not able to secure gainful employment.

School system

The school going age in the Gambia is officially seven years. The education system, which is largely based on the British system, consists of the following:

* Six years of primary schooling: grades 1 – 6
* Three years of Junior Secondary schooling: grades 7 – 9
* Three years of Senior Secondary schooling: grades 10 – 12
* Four years of University education

Examinations

At the end of grades 6 and 9, there are selection examinations to proceed to the next level. At the end of grade 9 people have the option to go into the numerous skills centres which provide pre-vocational training for its students. At the end of grade 12 also, depending on their performance in the West African senior Secondary Certificate Exam (WASSCE), students have the option to go into the Technical Training Institute, which provide vocational and technical education; to into Gambia college which provide pre-service training for teachers, nurses, public health officers and agricultural supervisors; or they can go on to university or join the labour force.

Statistics

In 2002/03 total enrolment at primary schools included 79 % of children in the relevant age-group (boys 79 % ; girls 78 % ), according to UNESCO estimates, while secondary enrolment included only 33 % of the appropriate age-group (boys 39  % ; girls 27 %).

University of The Gambia

The University of The Gambia which is still a fairly new institution was established by an Act of the National Assembly of the Gambia in March 1999. It comprises four faculties and Gambia College, including four schools: Agriculture, Science, Education, Nursing and Midwifery and Public Health.

News and Reports:

University of the Gambia exceeds expectation

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