Help Us Bring Our School Up To Required Health and Safety Codes!
The new Escuela Moderna Kerewan Kindergarten, hosted and operated by the Gambian Secular Assembly (GSA), is modeled after the "Escuela Moderna" school of learning designed by Spanish freethinker and educational reformer Francesco Ferrer i Guárdia. The school is one of only 4 preschools in Banjul, the Gambia's capital, and the only private secular school in the country.
The original project as envisioned by us included a single-room kindergarten with a principal and teacher on a small rented property that would serve up to 42 students. However, as the start of the fall school semester approached, we were approached by officials from the Gambian Educational Ministry and asked to take over another kindergarten in the area - a Christian school - that was closing its doors. Not only did that school have an existing kindergarten class of about 10 children, but it also had two existing nursery school classes that the Ministry wanted to see maintained.
We jumped at the chance to save the school while at the same time moving into a larger and more usable space. We quickly hired new teachers and expanded our student recruitment, and the new Escuela Moderna Kerewan Kindergarten started the school year with three full classes.
However, the new school space was in serious disrepair and required extensive repairs and upgrades to meet current building codes. So as part of its condition of allowing us to take over the school, the Gambian Ministry insisted that we also agree to make the necessary repairs to the property over the next six months.
We are now scrambling to upgrade the school site even as we are handling an unexpectedly large number of students and staff. Among the repairs and improvements we are needing to make are:
- Replacing the doors and installing flush toilets on the school pit latrines;
- Providing electricity and piped water to the school;
- Replacing the flooring of two of the three classrooms;
- Replacing the ceilings to the classrooms and administrative office and installing ceiling fans for cooling;
- Replacing damaged playground equipment with new equipment; and
- Repainting the entire building complex inside and out.
Implementing these repairs are estimated to cost US$6,000 - an expense that we did not anticipate but which we are now committed to raising to ensure the success of our new school.
The Kerewan school is in urgent need for these funds to bring our new school up to code and continue to permanently operate. With your contribution, we can make a permanent difference in providing a strong foundation for Gambia's next generation with science and reason. Please visit the AAI Foundation project page to consider making a contribution.