We were received by the principal of SAAMASANG Technical Upper Basic and Senior Secondary School Mr. Musa Baldeh. As we walked through the gates of the school, we were greeted with the sound of laughter and bustling classrooms.
The principal, led us to his office where he gave us a brief explanation of what the school does and how the school was started. SAAMASANG is a community school and was started by a women group in the community of Brikama known for its focus on technical and vocational education. They aim to equip students with practical skills that will enable them to contribute to the country’s workforce.
Mr. Baldeh proudly shared with us the success stories of the school. “Most of our students go on to study at the University of the Gambia and GTTI (Gambia Technical Training Institute),” he said. “We also have students who have set up their own workshops and are already making a living out of their skills.”
Despite these achievements, Mr. Baldeh highlighted the challenges they are faced with. Some of the structures of the school are incomplete and the classrooms are dilapidated. He emphasized the lack of equipment as another major issue. “Our students often have to share tools, and this hampers their learning experience,” he explained. “We desperately need rehabilitation and better resources to provide a quality education.”
Moved by the dedication and passion of the SAAMASANG team, the Chairman of CASA-Gambia, Mr. Ebrima Jatta, expressed his gratitude for the school’s contribution in skills training for the education system in the Gambia. He recognized that such training was vital in addressing the limited skilled workers in the country and reducing dependence on foreign workers.
Mr. Jatta further assured the staff and students that CASA-Gambia would look into the possibilities of partnering with other organizations to alleviate the school’s current challenges. He promised to provide assistance in any way possible, be it through fundraising or sourcing necessary equipment.
After a lengthy discussion and consideration, we concluded that it was essential for the management of SAAMASANG School to submit a project proposal to CASA-Gambia for a possible working partnership. This partnership would allow for collaborative efforts in addressing the school’s challenges and securing the resources needed for rehabilitation.
To get a better understanding of the school’s situation, Mr. Baldeh kindly offered to take us on a tour of the premises. As we walked through the classrooms and workshops, we witnessed the determination and drive of the students. They worked diligently on their projects, despite the less-than-ideal conditions.
The visit to SAAMASANG Technical Upper Basic and Senior Secondary School left us deeply inspired by the resilience and talent of the students and the commitment of the staff. We were motivated to do everything within our power to support the school’s efforts in providing quality technical and vocational education.
CASA-Gambia is now eagerly awaiting the project proposal from SAAMASANG School, ready to embark on a journey of collaboration and partnership towards the transformation of the school. Together, we believe that we can create a brighter future for the students, providing them with the resources they need to excel and contribute to the development of the Gambia.
Paving the way for self driven development!