Between the 28 -31 of January the Monitor & Evaluation (M&E) officer Muhammed Lenn travelled throughout The Gambia, accompanied by the Swedish interns Jeanna Isacson and Dalinne Bojang. The School Development Unit (SDU) at FIOHTG had requested a baseline survey to establish the status of education in the selected schools before intervening since SDU is tasked with the responsibility of promoting quality and relevant education.

SDU will continue to be involved in the selected clusters, especially in rural areas which are the most vulnerable, to promote quality and relevant education in schools. The participating schools in this study were Samba Chargel and Maria Samba Nyadoh (North Bank Region 3), Darsilami and Nyawurulung (Region 4), Chargel (Region 5) and Kisskiss (region 6) 

The M&E team had the main task of collecting baseline data for the SDU, which was done by direct questions to the principles and five of the teachers whom also served as respondents together with an observation checklist for the school facilities. The baseline survey provided and established information on quality, relevance, enrolment and retention rates at schools under study. This data is to be used for follow up interventions and to track changes. 

In the schools there was a positive student-textbook ratio and in Darsilami, full cycle school, the national results were exceptional. However, the majority of the schools faced challenges with quality assistance for children with special needs, adequate benches and sustainable food provision. Furthermore, in Nyawurulung, lower basic school, they are facing severe issues with water and sanitation, which affects the children’s education and the teachers working environment. There are many important factors to why a baseline survey needs to be done before intervening, become aware of the issues that the schools are facing and therefore take the appropriate actions for informed decision-making

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