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Misera Basic Cycle School

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Background

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Misera is in the Jarra West District of the Lower River Region. As with many Gambian villages, the name has variations in spelling, so it is often spelt Missera. The nearest town is Soma, an important crossroads where the main east-west road on the south bank of the Gambia River crosses the Trans-Gambia Highway, which runs north and south into Senegal. You can find out more about the village on the Missera Village FaceBook page.

Misera Basic Cycle School combines the functions of Lower Basic and Upper Basic, with students in Grades from 1 to 9 and ages ranging from about 7 to 19. Jacinda (Jacy) Bowman is the Peace Corps Volunteer at Misera Basic Cycle School. She has been there since September 2013 and will be staying until early 2016. Jacy is a prolific blogger, and her blog has lots of photos of Misera.

Library Committee Excursion

Amongst other things, Jacy has been closely involved with organising the library at the school. Being 'up-country' means that few of the students have travelled to the more populous areas near the coast. So Jacy planned an excursion for the school library committee and library monitors so that they could see some public libraries and other places of interest in the Kombo area and Banjul. Throughout the year, the excursion was used as an incentive for the work they did in the library. Monitors regularly cleaned and organised the library knowing they were being held accountable and would be rewarded with an excursion at the end of the year. Committee members and monitors were active in repainting the library. Pageant provided funding of 173 to cover some of the costs of the excursion, but Jacy also organised a cultural zimba fundraiser to raise additional funds for the excursion and the end-of-year party. The excursion itself was fun for students and teachers alike. For many students, this was their first time leaving the Jarra region.

They first looked at the public library in Soma, before heading down the main road towards the coast. They stopped on the bridge leading into the neighbouring region to show the children what a bridge was. This was the first of many new experiences for the students. The excursion included visits to Kartong Reptile Farm, Tanji Fishing Village on the coast, Abuko Nature Reserve, the Gambia National Museum the Gambia National Library, Katchikally Crocodile Pool and Banjul International Airport.

boarding the bus
boarding the bus

en-route
en-route

Soma public library
Soma public library

at the reptile farm
at the reptile farm

on the beach at Tanji
on the beach at Tanji

the Gambia National Museum
the Gambia National Museum

the Gambia National Library
the Gambia National Library

at Banjul Airport
at Banjul Airport

All the above photos are used with Jacy's permission, and are her copyright. Jacy has posted lots more photos on her blog, so please have a look.

By the end of the trip, students were begging to stay another day. It was incredible to see the thirst these students had for learning and experiencing new things. Already, library monitors and other students have taken a greater interest in a library they can see people actively involved in. Many students have asked whether they can be library monitors next year.

Pageant Visit November 2015

In November 2015 Ian, Pippa and other Pageant members visited Misera BCS to see the school and meet Jacy. They were met by a 'Welcome Group' who sang and danced for the Pageant party when they arrived and again when they left.

After looking at the library and resource room, Pippa said that it was the best she had seen in any Gambian BCS. Pippa also took along some microscopes for the school, and did some training, along with Yankuba and Abdoulie, in how to operate them. It was most encouraging to see how well our Gambian agents are progressing with their ability to set up the microscopes and show teachers how to use them - and to see how well the teachers responded. We hope that the microscopes will be useful teaching tools.

In early December, teachers Mr Bah and Mr Baldeh started teaching microscopy to Grade 7 and 8 students.
[see our Microscopy at Misera page]

Misera library and resource room
Misera library and resource room

library and resource room - some resources
library & resource room - some resources

more teaching and study resources
more teaching & study resources

more teaching and study resources
more teaching & study resources

Jacy with staff members of the library committee
Jacy with members of the library committee
Sherifo Ceesay, Bubacarr Baldeh, Jacy, Abdoulkadir Samateh

senior students waving goodbye to Pageant
senior students waving goodbye to Pageant

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