By Lamin Cham
Exactly a year after establishing the Yamoransa Model in The Gambia through the provision of a computer lab at St Joseph’s Senior Secondary School, the group of implementers and funders and promoters of the concept on Monday returned to the school to complete the project with the launching of the Asanka content development device.
Yamoransa Model creates community-supported sustainable development projects that bring information and communications technology to underserved communities. It was first started in Ghana (hence the Ghanaian names and tags) and replicated in the Gambia last year at St Joseph’s where a modern computer lab was installed to serve the school and others surrounding it.
The project is funded by an American charity group, Helping Africa Foundation. It was brought to The Gambia through the promotion and coordination of Sukai Sey, a Gambian and former student of St Joseph’s.
Monday’s ceremony marked the launching of the final part of the project, the Asanka device, which delivers free content through your web browser without using the Internet.
The device contained the entire school syllabus of the Gambia’s school curriculum and more, enabling students to study and research every subject of their choice using the device.
At the launching Monday, Gambia’s gender and social welfare minister, Fatou Kinteh hailed the initiative as a practical approach to making learning easier and in line with modern digital age which she said is very much in line with Gambia government’s policy of prioritising information technology hence the creation of a whole new ministry of digital economy in cabinet. She said she is particularly pleased that the home of this innovation in The Gambia is St Joseph’s, a school for girls. Momodou Jeng, director of curriculum, commended the Helping Africa Foundation and collaborators and registered his office’s profound delight to be associated with the project.
Thomas Eghan Ekuban from tech firm Techaide- Ghana introduced the Asanka with a demonstration, saying that the Asanka contains 905 exercises supported by video images illustrating the explanations and thereby eradicating abstract learning for students.
Deborah Rose, president of Helping Africa Foundation, executive director Japher Aryiku and his deputy Jonathan Weisner, all congratulated the Gambia Yamoransa Model and expressed pleasure to be associated with it and urged children to make maximum use of the project. Mr Aryiku encouraged the Gambia government to invest and expand the model to reach areas across the entire country.
Sukua Sey, the promoter of the Yamoransa Model in The Gambia, thanked the minister and officials from the ministry of education, the Banjul City Council, Helping Africa Foundation and implementers for the success of the project and looked forward to its expansion in the Gambia. The ceremony was hosted by Vice Principal Mr Belford and staff of St Joseph’s and attuned by students from neighboring schools who are also accorded access to the facilities.