Gambia: Jiboroh Basic Cycle School Faces Inadequate Furniture for Over 4 Years

19 April 2021

The lower classes of Jiboroh Basic Cycle School are reported to be encountering severe inadequate furniture hampering effective and efficient education in the school since 2017; The Point has been anonymously informed.

The investigation mounted by this reporter discovered that the lower classes includes grades one (1) to six (6) with a population of one thousand and thirty (1030) pupils. They have one hundred and twenty- nine (129) furniture (bench and table connected) and forty five (45) plastic chairs. However, the upper classes (grades 7-9) have adequate furniture.

According to documents seen by The Point, every grade of the school has four classes. Each class of grades one to four has about forty students. It also shows that grade five (5) and six (6) have four classes each and every class has about fifty pupils.

Speaking to this medium, an anonymous source said the school's lower classes have insufficient furniture, revealing that four or three students share a single bench and a table in a class.

"Classes of forty or fifty students only have about fourteen (14) to sixteen (16) furniture; some pupils have to spread mats on the ground to attend sessions. This makes learning very difficult for the students," the source unveiled.

The Point can reliably report that some pupils usually sit on the floor to attend learning sessions because there is neither sufficient furniture nor sufficient mats.

Moving forward, our source disclosed that some grade five students have poor hand writing skills. He said that happened because when those children were at lower classes they were not fortunate to sit comfortably on furniture to write well.

"This has seriously affected their academic prospect," he pointed out.

Some pupils would also use teachers' table in order to attend session and those teachers would stay without furniture throughout, he said.

Our source said this nightmare has caused a drastic negative impact on the students' academic performance, especially the classes that face National Assessment Test (NAT) as some pupils often get poor results.

"The inadequate furniture also made the school's management to scale down its annual enrolment."

He said the lack of enough furniture happened because government has not supplied the institution with furniture for about fifteen years. "To ensure better education in the institution government must provide sufficient furniture."

According to the source, in 2019 the school's management addressed a letter to the Basic Education Ministry requesting for furniture but the school received no positive response.

Omar Sanneh, the school principal confirmed the inadequate furniture in the school.

Lamin Jaiteh, principal education officer (PEO) for Region Two (2) was contacted but declined to comment on the inadequacy of furniture at the said school.

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