Illiteracy is widespread in The Gambia. In 2015, only over half of the adult population could read and write. Children usually begin their nine-year primary school at the age of seven. No compulsory schooling prevails. There is also a three-year extension phase.
According to the constitution, basic schooling should be free of charge, but in reality the children generally have to pay fees and the school is thus not accessible to everyone.
Significantly more men than women are literate. The authorities have been investing in getting more girls to the school, partly by standing for some of the fees. Local mothers’ clubs have also been formed to raise funds to pay fees or offer moral support to the girls. Nowadays, slightly more girls than boys attend elementary school, but more girls than boys drop out of studies before they finish primary school. Many children stay at home to work in households and agriculture.
- COUNTRYAAH: Country facts of Gambia, including geography profile, population statistics, and business data.
However, there are major differences between different parts of the country. In the cities, almost all children attend school, while the proportion is lower in rural areas, in some cases a child of three will be without schooling.
In addition to the state school system, Koran schools are run, where Islam is at the center.
The University of the Gambia started as a collaboration with a Canadian university in 1999, but the state completely took over the university in 2000. Within the country, for example, there are teacher training, as well as education in agriculture, healthcare and technical subjects. However, more Gambians are studying abroad than in their home country.
- Topmbadirectory: Offers information about politics, geography, and known people in Gambia.
FACTS – EDUCATION
Proportion of children starting primary school
77.6 percent (2017)
Number of pupils per teacher in primary school
Reading and writing skills
42.0 percent (2013)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of GDP
10.4 percent (2016)
Public expenditure on education as a percentage of the state budget
10.4 percent (2016)
Barrow promises to punish human smugglers
Gambian President Adama Barrow promises to punish the human traffickers who caused more than 60 people’s death in connection with their attempt to get to the Canary Islands by boat. He emphasizes that a police investigation has now begun and describes the incident as a national tragedy. He also says money has been sent to Mauritania to assist those who survived the disaster.
Protesters demand Barrow’s departure
Thousands of Gambians gather in Banjul for President Adama Barrow to keep his election pledge to step down after three years. They shout “three years, three years” to the sound of Bob Marley’s music. At the 2016 election, one of the now ruling seven-party alliance promises was that Barrow, if he won, would sit in power for three years and then announce new elections he would not take part in. Since then, two of the alliance’s parties have agreed that he should get remain as president for the term of office, that is, until 2021. But the largest of the alliance’s parties, the United Democratic Party (UDP), to which Barrow previously belonged, has said no. The manifesto has been organized by the grassroots movement Three years jotna (Your three years are over), which was formed earlier in the year by Musa Kaira, a Gambian businessman who lives in the United States. Barrow himself says he will resign in 2012 and leave power in a “dignified way”. The president has strong support abroad, but at home, it is not as well-grounded, and he no major political experience when he was elected president in 2016.
Gambian migrants die on their way to the Canary Islands
At least 62 migrants drown off the coast of Mauritania as they try to reach the Canary Islands by boat. However, some 80 people manage to swim ashore after the boat hit a cliff in the sea and started to take in water. Most of the people on board are Gambians.
The Gambia reports Myanmar to court
The Gambia accuses Myanmar’s military of committing a genocide on Rohingy in the Myanmar state of Rakhine in the fall of 2017 and is now turning to the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague to try it. The Gambia acts as a representative of the Muslim organization OIC. Gambia’s Foreign Minister Abubacarr Marie Tambadou, who had previously been a prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), has been the initiator of the report.
Ex-dictator Jammeh’s closest man admits abuse
Edward Singhateh, former military and former President Yahya Jammeh’s right hand, testifies before the Truth Commission. He then admits that he is partly responsible for the opposition Gambians being arrested, tortured and executed under Jammeh’s rule and that he today feels great regret for this. His recognition includes two people Sana Sabally and Sadibou Hydara who both participated in the coup that brought Jammeh to power in 1994, but which he later suspected of planning to overthrow him. Sabally was tortured and allowed to spend nine years in prison, while Hydara died in prison. Singhateh now admits that the evidence against the men was fabricated.
“Ex-President Jammeh should be prosecuted”
The Gambian government intends to prosecute it before President Yahya Jammeh for theft and corruption. During his 22 years in power, according to the government, Jammeh acquired nearly 300 private and commercial properties, animal sanctuaries, islands and more (see March 2019). It refers to the fact that the Truth Commission has concluded that this has happened in contravention of the country’s constitution.
Ex-President Jammeh is accused of millionaire support
Gambia’s former president Yahya Jammeh personally seized $ 362 million in assets. There will be a state commission appointed by his successor Adama Barrow in his final report. To reach this conclusion, the Commission has heard 253 witnesses. The government is now trying to do its best to get back property that the ex-president has wrongfully seized. Up to now, some cars of the Rolls-Royce brand and aircraft have been sold to raise money for the Treasury. According to another report by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) , Jammeh and his supporters had plundered the Gambian state on assets worth nearly $ 1 billion. Jammeh who has been in Equatorial Guinea since 2017 has not commented on the information.
Barrow dismisses UDP ministers
President Adama Barrow dismisses Vice President Ousainou Darboe and two heavy ministers without stating why. All three are members of the United Democratic Party (UDP), which thus has no ministerial posts at all, despite the fact that the party holds the majority of all seats in the National Assembly. The three who were dismissed have all been jailed during Jammeh’s time in power, but were pardoned by Barrow. In 2017, Barrow promised to step down after three years and announce presidential elections, but it is unclear if he will. Another sign that Barrow intends to remain is that he formed President Barrow youth movement for national development, something that the UDP sees as a first step towards forming a new party.
Ya Kumba Jaiteh is forced to leave the National Assembly
President Barrow is forcing a female MP from the UDP, Ya Kumba Jaiteh, whom he himself is appointed to leave the National Assembly. She was one of five members nominated by the president.
Investigation of MRI crimes under Jammeh’s board begins
7 th of January
The commission to investigate murders, tortures and other abuses committed under Yayha Jammeh’s 22-year rule begins its work. The Commission will hear about a thousand witnesses, and the hearings of them will be sent directly via facebook. A final document is expected to be ready by October 2020. Video footage of a dancing Jammeh at a party in Equatorial Guinea has given new impetus to the requirement for him to be extradited to the Gambia to stand trial, the British media company reports. First to testify is a former police officer Ebrima Chongan who tells of how he was tortured at a police station in Banjul after the 1994 coup.