Gambia: Ebunjan Theater Hosts Young Schools Competition on Comprehensive Health Education

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The first edition of the Interschool Drama/Poetry Competition on Comprehensive Health Education took place on Friday, June 24, 2022 at the Ebujan Theater in Kanifing.

The event was organized by the Comprehensive Health Education Team of the Curriculum Research, Assessment and Development Branch (CREDD) of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE) with the full support of the International Development Research Center (IDRC).

The competition brought together 24 schools; Upper Basic and Upper Secondary, in Region 1. It served as a class extension for all students and teachers. The competition progressed through the preliminaries/preliminaries through to the semi-finals and finals.

Addressing the assembly, Professor Pierre Gomez, Minister of Higher Education, Research, Science and Technology, said he was delighted with the CHE Interschool Theatre/Poetry Competition which was anchored and implemented in schools and community programs.

The inter-school competition, he noted, was aimed at providing quality CHE to in-school and out-of-school adolescents and it is in line with government policy, which is to provide inclusive education to every Gambian child.

“Thus, the use of literature and poetry will help children,” he said, while welcoming the presence of the Minister of Youth and Sports, the government spokesman, representatives of the system from the United Nations and permanent secretaries, among others, for coming to support the idea and students.

He expressed how impressed he was with CHE’s sexual and reproductive health topics included in the competition, ranging from the body and puberty, to menstruation, pregnancy, prevention, sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. use of contraceptives, among others.

“Our young people need to be informed and educated so that they understand and take charge of their bodies and their destiny because if you don’t know who you are, you won’t know how to preserve yourself/preserve your body”, a- he declared.

Therefore, “the use of literature, poetry and drama to educate them to take charge and preserve what is important to them must be supported and the Gambian government will support this type of initiative. Thus, the drama and poetry have been used extensively to provide students with the platform to freely express their thoughts, feelings and understanding of the social issues that affect them in their lives, Professor Gomez revealed, adding that “it is a race for development”.

He thanked MoBSE’s CREDD through the CHE program for making efforts to bridge the communication gap in sexual health education by integrating it into the curriculum. “This is important and would translate into the curriculum content of the higher and higher education sub-sector where we already have positive strategies on gender inclusion and mainstreaming for the benefit of the common goal,” he said.

The Minister also expressed his gratitude to the MoBSE through the full Health Education Research Coordinating Team under the Curriculum for this great initiative and implored them to continue as steadily as this will go a long way in changing mindsets and creating a positive attitude towards health education and promotion. student well-being at school.

He thanked the project’s principal researcher for her commitment and dynamism.

Ebrima G. Sankareh, government spokesperson, elaborated on the need for parents to change their attitude and be aware that their children are not sleeping but watching and aware of what is happening at home “because our sisters, aunts, daughters and mothers are subject to gender sublimation.”

Briefly, Bakary Badjie, Minister of Youth and Sports commended the CHE team of CREDD under MoBSE for organizing the educational and informative CHE Interschool Drama/Poetry competition.

Minister Badjie congratulated all the participating schools as well as the schools that won the competition in the UBS and SSS categories and encouraged them to continue as they have all made their schools proud.

CREDD Director Momodou Jeng described the contest as one of the strategies they adopted to send messages related to comprehensive health education.

Ms. Phebian Ina Grant Sagnia, Principal Researcher for Strengthening Access to Quality Comprehensive Health Education for School and Out of School Adolescents in The Gambia, presented the CHE research summary and findings.

Meanwhile, in the SSS category of the Inter-School Drama/Poetry Competition, Gambia Senior Secondary School came out on top while Nusrat SSS and ABC SSS finished 2nd and 3rd respectively.

At UBS level, New Covenant emerged victorious, with Latrikunda Sabiji and Kanifing East UBS taking 2nd and 3rd positions respectively.

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