By Momodou Jarju
A two-day validation of Curriculum Framework for Entrepreneurship Education meant for early childhood education (ECD), up to Senior Secondary level, began at the Regional Education Directorate (One), in Kanifing.
The event brought together educationists across the country, to engage on the final phase of the design and implementation of the aforementioned framework, aimed at shaping the mindset of youth, and to provide them with the necessary knowledge, skills and attitudes that is essential in developing entrepreneurial culture.
The research framework is financed by the Ministry of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment with support from ChildFund the Gambia, Gambia Technical Training Institute (GTTI), National Accreditation and Quality Assurance Agency (NAQAA), the Private Sector and others.
Delivering his welcome remarks yesterday January 31st at the opening ceremony of the program, Dr. Burama Jammeh, director of Curriculum Research, Evaluation, Development Directorate (CREDD), said the framework is part of the overall curriculum building process that the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education has started reviewing since 2016. “We have reviewed our subject structures. For example previously, we used to have social and environmental studies. But in the new curriculum that we are developing now, we have separated those areas. So we have put environmental issues on its own given its nature. We have issues of climate change, biodiversity management and so on. So we thought that to teach those things, you cannot mix them up with others,” he explained. Jammeh said they have packaged all vocational subjects into one, called Design and Technology. He said humanities and literacy are among the new subjects that will be part of the curriculum framework. “So we also have humanities as a learning area and literacy, which was previously under language, now coming on its own,” he said.
Musukuta Komma, the Country Representative of Child Fund The Gambia said the organization has been working closely with Government, civil society organizations and communities, to contribute to the development of children. Komma said the development of children starts with curriculum development; that if people do not first respond to the needs of children, they would not be able to ensure their free and healthy growth. She shared the achievement their organization has registered on Aflatoun /Aflateen work, which is child social and financial education and acknowledged the support that the Aflatoun Secretariat provided through training materials; that these materials were later customized with support from the Basic and Secondary Education Ministry, and printed by child Fund the Cambia. “MoBSE distributed the teaching and the learning materials to all eighteen Lower Basic Schools and monitored them weekly. ChildFund the Gambia is pleased with this and previous collaborations we had with the Ministry. Without their support and dedication, we would not have been here today,” she said.
She expressed her delight that their Aflatoun and Aflateen work on child social and financial education, has formed the basis of the curriculum they were validating.
Hassan Gaye, representing the Minister of Trade, Regional Integration and Employment, said the framework is timely because it’s in line with the national development plan, where the private sector is regarded as the engine of growth. “And inculcating entrepreneurship knowledge in the minds of people in their early development, is very crucial in any economic development and the Gambia is no exception,” he said.
Jerreh Sanyang, representing the Permanent Secretary of MoBSE, said education would be meaningless if Gambian children are not developed holistically; that it is against this backdrop, that the aforesaid Ministry through CREED, is developing an entrepreneurship curriculum. “This proposed curriculum is based on the principle that every learner needs to acquire the requisite competence in entrepreneurship such as knowledge, skills, attitudes as well as values,” he said.