By Aisha Tamba
Yundum Barracks Lower and Upper Basic School Saturday held its first graduation ceremony of 170 students, at the Barracks in Yundum.
The Gambia Armed Forces has over the years contributed in the education of children both military and the civilian families living within the military installation and the surrounding local communities.
The school is being run by GAF under the supervision of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education.
The school principal Lamin Sanneh, said the graduation ceremony is a great day in the history of GAF education and the history of the force at large.
“This day marks the completion of the third batch of the lower basic education and first of the upper basic component. Showcasing the significant contribution the members of the Gambia Armed Forces are doing in the quest to fulfill their civil military relationship, and also to reaffirm to the civilian populace that the army is not only about keeping the territorial integrity of the nation or protecting the life and property of the citizenry but also to participate in the disciplines that are widely associated to the civilian populace like the construction of infrastructures, provision of medical support, helping in disaster.
“The army as component of the larger society, therefore all that can be found in a larger society is expected to reflect in its army, and education is not an exception. The army has been in education for more than one and half a decade now. The nursery education has been in Farafenni and Fajara barracks respectively for a while now. The Yundum Barracks Nursery School is the last to be established,” he said.
He said Yundum Barracks Nursery School began in 2008 with the aim of providing one step shop of educational information, where our pupils will learn from nursery to senior secondary school uninterrupted, equipped with pre-requisite knowledge, life skills attitude and learning technology.
“The school starts as nursery school with an enrolment of 68 students and 5 unqualified but experience teaching staff who cooperatively and relentlessly work very hard toward establishing bedrock of quality.
“The lower basic school followed thereafter in 2010, and upper basic school in 2015. The school is managed and run by soldiers of the Gambia Armed Forces in collaboration with MOBSE through the regional office in Brikama region-2. Thereby creating a smooth and strong civil military relationship,” he added.
He said the school is committed to implementing policies and objectives of the ministry which encourages quality education at all time and at all levels, and the quality education cannot be achieved without qualified teaching staff in the educational system.
“This has also been the objectives of GAF education. This issue has been prioritised. In 2009 the first batch of the members of GAF education was enrolled for ECD, PTC and HTC program respectively at the Gambia College. Year after year, batch after batch personnel of GAF education are getting qualified at the Gambia College and the trend continues.
“Thus cementing cordial ties between the Gambia College and GAF education. At present, GAF education has 78 qualified teachers in ECD, PTC and HTC. These teachers are manning the different school components in Farafenni, Fajara and Yundum Barracks.
“Meanwhile, these are well committed to their work and have been all along with the students both in school contact hours and in non contact hours trying to ensure that our pupils get maximum potentials in academics, social and physical endeavours through the joint effort of all stakeholders as enshrined in our mission statement,” he said.
Mr Sanneh said that the school is having lots of challenges, making it difficult to some extent.
“The problem of structures is one of our biggest challenges to be able to contain the demands of the enrolment. The school has a quality education and almost everyone wants quality education.
“The teachers deserve motivation and we are appealing to the GAF command to look into our issues. That will help us very well in our quest towards establishing a quintessential good school within the frame work of the Gambia Armed Forces,” he said.