Gambia launches ‘think equal’ education programme, Awards Gambia Teacher Prize

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Gambia launches ‘think equal’ education programme, Awards Gambia Teacher Prize
Gambia launches ‘think equal’ education programme, Awards Gambia Teacher Prize

Africa-Press – Gambia. The Gambia celebrates the launch of Think Equal Gambia and awards The Gambia Teacher Prize in an event held by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (MoBSE).

A statement made available on Friday stated that Think Equal is a revolutionary early year’s educational programme, which ensures the social and emotional development and wellbeing of 3 – 6 year-olds during their brain-building years.

The Think Equal programme teaches children critical thinking, self-esteem, empathy, and how to manage their emotions and relationships with others. It was founded by the BAFTA winning former film and documentary maker Leslee Udwin.

By teaching 25 critical skills to children in their formative years, the programme aids individual and societal progress – equipping a generation of children with the tools they need to deal with life’s challenges, reduce the risk of harmful behaviour in later years, and become inclusive and responsible citizens.

The event will mark the beginning of a country-wide rollout of Think Equal throughout all school programmes in The Gambia.

To date, Think Equal has reached over 394,000 children in 30 countries. The rollout of Think Equal in The Gambia will benefit an estimated 50,000 children across the country by 2025 and a further 150,000 children each year thereafter.

Investing in early year’s education is a priority for the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, and Think Equal’s approach to social and emotional learning aligns perfectly with the Ministry’s vision for comprehensive education in The Gambia.

The Ministry is committed to ensuring the successful implementation of the Think Equal programme in all schools across the country.

The Gambia Teacher Prize is administered by the NamieFoundation in collaboration with the MoBSE and the Gambia Teachers Union.

The prize celebrates and honours exceptional basic and secondary school teachers and aims to recognize and celebrate their remarkable contributions to Gambian education.

Udwin, Founder and Executive Chair of Think Equal, commented: “We are incredibly honoured to be a part of this momentous occasion that celebrates The Gambia’s commitment to fostering a better society for all, by focusing on the importance of the teacher and their critical contribution in supporting society’s next generation.

“Not only that, but we’re also thrilled to be shining a light on The Gambia’s enlightened focus on early years social and emotional learning. To us, nothing is more important than lifting the potential of children and celebrating the incredible work of teachers and educators.

“Think Equal has been piloted in 30 countries globally, with The Gambia the third country in the world, alongside Belize and Macedonia, to implement the programme country-wide. We applaud the vision of The Gambian government and we’re pleased to report that within just weeks of rolling out the programme, we’re already hearing from teachers about the positive impact it’s having.”

Claudiana Cole, Minister of Education of Gambia, said: “We’re totally committed to improving outcomes for all children in The Gambia, and the Think Equal programme is a key part of our plans.

“By teaching children social and emotional wellbeing early on, we’re giving them the skills they need to flourish in later life. It’s so important that we catch them young!”

Jainaba Teeda Sarr, Country Director of the NGO Future InOur Hands, said: “Future In Our Hands’ collaboration with Think Equal has been immensely impactful already, widening our scope of work in the country and adding capacity to our staff and teachers we work with. Through the partnership with Think Equal and with the support of the MoBSE, we are proud to be educating children, contributing to a more peaceful society.”

Alhassan Susso, founder of the Gambia Teacher Prize, who himself has won the New York State and other Global Teacher Prizes and was educated in The Gambia, says: “I am sincerely thankful for the opportunity to serve as Think Equal‘s patron recognizing the significant impact it holds in fostering not only the intellectual advancement but also moral integrity. It is my staunch belief that neglecting the cultivation of moral character in education is a disservice to our students.

“Therefore, I am honoured to align myself with the esteemed Mission of Think Equal Gambia dedicated to promoting comprehensive development within the realm of education.”

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