By Saikou Suwareh Jabai
A team of Pedagogical and top Educational experts from Belgium, at the invitation of Els Salembier, founder & initiator of The Swallow Centre for Emancipating Education in the Gambia, flew back to Brussels recently, following the completion of an intensive week of research, monitoring & assessment of The Swallow Education school centre in Manjai. The weeklong visit by the experts is part of efforts intended to give an assessment and evaluation of the school, with a view to improving its teaching and learning curriculum, amongst others, for international recognition.
During a briefing with this reporter at the school’s educational centre in Manjai, Els Salembier, the Initiator and founder of the Swallow Centre for Emancipating Education, who now heads a school in Belgium, said the research is not only theoretical as the practical approach aims to assist schools in improvement educational processes. The research document outlines that the case study will be published as a script and would serve as a practice guide for schools searching for inspiration on improvement. The research is also organized and developed by the supporting non profit organisation of the Swallow school in Belgium. According to Els, the visiting experts were divided into two teams with specific role and objectives. The research teams, she added, were mainly tasked to analyze documents from the Swallow Centre in particular and The Gambia in general and to observe the functioning of the school (classes, technical support, general functioning). The team also had interviews with school teachers, staff, students, ex-students, board members, parents as well as visits to various places in the country to get familiar with Gambian society and context.
The Public relations team who had similar tasks also promoted the approach of The Swallow to learning through artistic materials; visual materials (pictures, movies, songs). She underscored the significance of the research trip, adding that at the end of the visit, a report document would be written and designed on the findings of the research. At the end of the week long research trip, the educational and pedagogical experts had an evaluation session with members of the teaching and academic staff on the use of modern and effective methods of teaching to the comprehension of the pupils in the classroom as well as the delivery of efficient and quality education to needy students.