July until end of term (4th August)
The rains came in early June this year but they did bring extra
water to allow us to cultivate the school gardens and allow
children to clear weeds and plant a crop before the end of term.
The driving force in this endeavour is Mr Omar Gaye (LB 6
teacher), wearing a blue tee-shirt with the children.
Traditionally the ladies tend gardens in The Gambia but Omar has
the boys helping too with heavier work.
In the Nursery we continue to make good use of our TV and DVD set-up
to show children educational programmes. Sally Ceesay is shown
with N1 doing just this.
Meanwhile N3 are completing their school year before going onto
the Lower Basic School in September and showing how well most can read (and concentrate).
The last month of the school year treats students to tests and
exams. This photo shows Skills 1 and 2 doing just this, in the
Lower Basic were also doing their end of year exams.
We had a visit from the Education Department's area cluster
monitor, who regularly comes to keep an eye on us all!
The rains (and accompanying strong winds) got much worse towards
the end of the month, flooding surrounding areas and damaging
sand roads and many properties. This picture, taken from a drone,
shows the story within the nearby Kololi and Manjai low-lying
Although Sunrise is on top of a small hill, the winds and rains
well and truly tested our corrugated roof, exposing loose
sections and some corrosion of the 10 year old fabric. We've had
repairs done now and hopefully produced something nearer a
watertight finish. We've not painted inside yet, waiting until
the drying season, to check repair quality.
The other major maintenance problem is that the heavy rains
exposed the poor condition of our Lower Basic submerged septic
tank (called a soak-away in Gambia). A cave-in of the underground
structure produced a sink-hole in the area between the school
gates and the entrance, near the LB toilets. This obviously had
to be made safe and secure plus the manufacture of another
soak-away. This is now well underway behind the building but
the change to reconnect the tank to the LB toilet block, with
pipe-work going in completely the opposite direction, is still to be
completed. This is proving to be quite expensive work and will take some time to complete.
The end of term is now with us and school will open again at the
end of September.
We have been running our registration processes for sometime
now. Parents and guardians come for vacant places throughout the
school, mostly in Nursery 1 and Skills 1 (the entrance years).
The sign is displayed on the gate and word of mouth communicates
We've been struggling with water supply again. As a precaution
we have put back the drinking water buckets in key areas of the
school. These are much in demand in the hot and humid
Playtimes aren't usually affected by weather, however, and
feverish activities are common!
We captured a nice picture of Fatou Nyassi, working quietly in
the sewing room to measure out white basin for one of the
rains bring some disruption to school as flooded areas drain
away, but these rains bring much needed moisture to crops and
gardens within The Gambia.
Our students are doing practical work, whenever we have water.
Skills 1 are posing with Mr Darboe looking on, as they gather
their material prior to adding the dye to the cloth.
Then later Skills 1 are seen posing against the drying materials
on the lines in school.
This month we have end of term exams and assessments for
graduating students. LB6 and Skills 3 can be seen in the hall
taking part in these important exams.
Skills 3 are doing practical exams too and samples of their
hand-made bead work can be seen in the picture here.
We've also had mock NAT exams for our LB 5 year, who went on to
take the real exams towards the end of June. The mocks give
children their first chance at doing this sort of test and makes
sure that they have the best chance of a good score in this
Four of our staff helped in SOS to supervise the NAT tests
within this nearby school. Mr Cham, Omar Gaye, Fatoumatta
Sighateh and Sirrah Sambou all helped at SOS during the NAT
exams as external supervisors, earning a few extra Dalasi for
We have been finishing off a long running project that
had stalled at Sunrise, the male and female staff
Now new toilets are in place with just a few bits of
finishing still to do.
We've also been improving the Bantaba cookery
facilities; providing a fridge/freezer, a cooker and a
new food mixer/blender.
Skills 1 making potato salad in the Bantaba
We've been a able to run our
regular First Aid course for final year students who
have just returned from Work Placements.
Momadou Lainey (pictured) from
First Aid 4 Gambia acted as lecturer again to provide
this course. He also brought replacement resources for
our first aid supplies. Thanks to First Aid for Gambia
We're delighted that Fatou Nyassi has passed her Level 2 exams
by the NAQAA organisation. This formalises her position as Full
Teacher with NAQAA and allows her to achieve full accreditation.
Fatou is clearly delighted too! This has taken a long time to
achieve because there are only a few people qualified to make
this assessment for NAQAA.
Life goes on in school as normal. Football is played most days
by boys (see penalty shoot-out) and many other games within the
playground by the girls.
We've been aware for some time that we might lose the end wall
of the school compound, perhaps affecting our Nursery 1
extension block too. This is to accommodate a new tarmac road
that will join the highway near Amsterdam Junction to the large
dual-carriageway in the centre of Bakoteh.
We are horrified at this prospect and hope that this will not
take place or be modified. However KMC officials have now come
to estimate possible compensation for this work.
Finally, COVID jabs (Pfizer) are being given to students and
eligible pupils within Sunrise. A team visited to help with this
important work and nervous youngsters lined up to be treated and
recorded as immunised against COVID-19.