Mansa Konko, 3 August 2022 (TDI): In collaboration with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education of the Gambia, UNICEF has lent support to the summer camps in the Lower River Region in the Gambia.

The children participating in this campaign are excited to learn about their basic rights and the issues affecting them.

The Initiative

The primary goal behind this initiative is to raise awareness regarding important issues like child marriage, child abuse, and human trafficking. This also includes promoting education which is the basic right of every child across the Gambia.

Educational Condition in the Gambia

In the Gambia, due to very less resources, the education sector faces many issues. Due to the limited availability of learning materials, classrooms and teachers, it is difficult for every child to access education.

The absence of inclusivity is a very big challenge. This makes it difficult for children with special needs to get a quality education. This results in greater challenges like poor learning outcomes from students.

Women’s education and child marriages

In many areas, the education of young girls is compromised. This is because girls are often forced into child marriages. This disregards the girls’ education and career goals.

UNICEF’s assistance to the Government of Gambia

The government of the Gambia has proved to be inefficient in providing the children of the Gambia with quality education. Due to a lack of resources and funding, UNICEF is assisting the Government in this mission.

UNICEF largely supports the Government of Gambia through the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) for this purpose. It collaborates with the above two sectors to achieve the education policy goals.

Aiming to achieve an inclusive education system, UNICEF works with MoBSE. This is to provide comprehensive basic education to children while ensuring all rights.

Policies and Strategies

To provide basic education, UNICEF has adopted different policies and strategies. These include training preschool caregivers and facilitators, supporting family programs, etc.

The Child Protection Program by UNICEF aims to protect all children against violence and abuse. Through this program, there has been a 49% decline in FGM/C (Female Genital Mutilation).

In 2019, 98 children were supported by the law through National Legal Aid Agency. It has also been able to reduce various other practices like child marriage and child labor.