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See also   Higher Education Ministry

Ministry For Basic & Secondary Education

Contact Address:


Willy Thorpe Building
P O Box 989, Banjul
The Gambia, West Africa

Tel no: 4228232 / 4228233
              4228234 / 4228235
Fax:     4224180


Background Information:
The basic structure of the education system in The Gambia provides for the expansion of basic education (ECD, Basic Education 1 - 9 and Adult and Non-formal Education) and Secondary Education.

The formal system is marked by 9 years of continuous basic education followed by 3 years of senior secondary education and four years of post-secondary or tertiary and higher education.

The first 9 years of schooling make up the basic education route and is financed mainly by The Government while secondary school education, which lasts 3 years, is primarily provided by the private sector with grant-aided schools assisted by Government and managed by school boards.

In line with the Dakar Framework for Action on EFA,  the basic education Programme is composed of the following areas:

Early Child Care
Basic Education (from Grades 1-9)
Adult and Non-Formal Education

Early Child Care & Development (ECCD)
The Gambia Government's Education Policy (2004 2015) emphasises the significance of these formative years, and the DoSBSE has formed partnerships with Non-governmental organisations, public departments, local government authorities and local groups to advance and encourage the cause of Early Childhood Development.

In Gambia ECD is mostly carried out by private institutions which makes the issue of cost a main consideration and is a major hurdle for low income households. This is particularly acute for those families living in the rural regions where the family structure usually means that children either work on the farm or a left in the care of the older generation.

A new teacher training program (Primary Teachers Certificate) for the training of pre-school teachers has been introduced by the Gambia College in order to expand the availability of teachers at this level of education.

Basic Education (grades 1 9)
The Gambia's national education policy (2004 2015) envisages a single, integrated, basic education system encompassing the years 1 to 9 with no transition exam at the end of the lower-basic. This policy has created a swift growth in the upper basic level.

Upper Basic:
Basic schools cover grades 7,8 and 9. Most schools are either lower or upper basic, although there are also a number of Basic Cycle Schools which cover both the lower and upper levels. In these schools, one head teacher is responsible for the two levels which are housed within the same premises,

Senior Secondary Level:
There are currently 49 senior secondary schools, of which 17 are subsidised via grant-in aid, 8 are funded by the government's budget, and  the remainder are private schools.

Currently new schools in Gambia are being created as public schools and later changed to grant-aided schools and handed over to a Board of Governors.

Information Technology has been introduced at this level in order to increase students and teachers to the medium.

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