Willy Thorpe Building
P O Box 989, Banjul
The Gambia, West Africa
Tel no: 4228232 / 4228233
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
In line with the Dakar Framework for Action on EFA,
the basic education Programme is composed of the following
• 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.
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.