Gambia: Armed Youth, Thieves Habitually Storm Mandinary LBS School's Building

14 April 2021

Armed youth and thieves are reported to in a habit of storming the Mandinary Lower Basic School in the Kombo North District, threatening lives of students and teachers as well as stealing valuable material; The Point has been anonymously informed.

Speaking to this medium on Monday, the source said some men often storm the school daily with cutlasses and knives forcibly, adding they would continuously stay within the school campus to smoke cannabis and sometime steal belongings of the school and teachers.

He revealed the village boys would also go around the school with dogs, which he said, is threatening the lives of both teachers and students. "It also distracts pupils during sessions."

"They would come to the school with cannabis and smoke openly but no one dare to send them away from the campus. Because they are always armed," the source told this medium.

"I have witnessed a scene where a boy attempt to fight students within the school campus. A teacher had to intervene to settle the dispute. Again, on March 31 2021, another boy attacked a teacher in the school campus during a football game between students and teachers. He wounded the teacher seriously on the head using a broken bottle," he noted.

The insider said if the trend continues, the school could be closed, justifying that many parents are now about to transfer their children to other schools owing to the alleged crimes.

"Sometime the boys would break into classrooms and steal learning materials during weekends and holidays. Even if someone leaves his or her mobile phone in the classroom during break times, if you are not extra careful it would be taken away," he claimed.

He alleged that some boys have been stealing the school's fluorescent lamps and teachers' belongings at the quarter such as laptops, boots and clothes among others on several occasions.

"The village boys usually sit beside the toilets with weapons while smoking cannabis. We have to abandon those toilets and tell the children to use the teachers' toilets," he said.

The source said the school has addressed letters to the Region 2 Directorate and copied them to the Gambia Police Forces, Village Development Committee (VDC), School's Senior Management Committee (SMC) and the village head but yet the boys continue intruding the school daily.

Our source opined that there is a need for government to ban the boys from the school and build the fence so that peace will prevail in the educational facility.

Alhagie Jammeh, school head, confirmed the alleged criminal activities, they are usually done by the village boys, saying the school's poor fence is a contributing factor to intrusion. However, he declined to comment further.

Lamin Jaiteh, principal education officer (PEO), for Region 2, said his office was not aware of the alleged criminal activities but assured that his office would send an officer immediately to find out the allege undesirable activities in the school in order to address it.

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