Gambia: Stone Circles of Senegambia Gets Attention From Schools in Niani, Nianija

The National Centre for Arts and Culture (NCAC) through the UNESCO World Heritage's International Assistance Program support has kicked off a series of School based activities on the Stone Circles of Senegambia, with Niani Senior Secondary School in Wassu, visiting the home of one of the largest stone circle site in Senegambia.

In 2006, UNESCO inscribed the Stone Circles of Senegambia in its World Heritage List.

Under the project titled 'Strengthening and Valorizing the Stone Circles of Senegambia' funded by UNESCO, NCAC prepared School-based education worksheets on facts and figures about the Stone Circles, to be administered to students in Schools in Niani and Nianija districts. The activity will involve 6 Schools in the area with about 200 students as beneficiaries.

"Our aim is to use the knowledge about the Stone Circles to support the educational attainment of students and to contribute to the quest for quality education in the country. The information kits developed, contained facts and figures which have been validated, on the Stone Circles. The worksheets and other exercises that derive from the information kits will assist students know more about this unique heritage, and build their awareness on their significance and value of the sites and to encourage conservation," Mamat Sallah, Assistant Director for Museums and Monuments at NCAC said.

Sallah explained that the students will do museum, site and quarries tour which will be led by tour guides; that they will read the information kit and thereafter, do the worksheets which have over 70 multiple choice, short answer and drawing questions.

He said there will be prizes for the student with the most correct answers on each session, as a motivation of his or her participation.

"Later in the year, School art and essay contests will be held and these will be themed on how to conserve the Stone Circles. And quiz contests will be held between Schools on their value and significance, to cement knowledge about this unique UNESCO World Heritage site in the country," Sallah said.

A Grade 11 student of Niani Senior Secondary School who took part in the session last Saturday told this reporter that "now I can see that the knowledge about the Stone Circles can indeed help me in my history, geography, arts and craft and science lessons. I found the drawing and crossword exercises very exciting and I did not want the session to end."

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