PAGEANT - "Education is the future"
Artwork on the boundary wall at Bakalarr BCS
Bakalarr Basic Cycle School, in the North Bank Region, is reached from Banjul by using the ferry across the Gambia River to Barra, followed by a road journey of about 15km.  The school serves five local villages, and has Grades from 1 to 9, as well as a nursery class. Pageant began visiting the school in 2001, and has helped in many ways over the years, but much of the credit for the huge improvements achieved is down to the enthusiasm and commitment of its headmaster Mr Bakary Gitteh.
The boundary wall around Bakalarr School was completed in July 2003. Then, Ousman F Sowe, a Grade 9 pupil, and the teacher in charge of art & crafts decorated the wall around the school with numerous pictures - turning it into an incredible art gallery. () and ( )
Pippa and Ian report after their visit in February 2004:-
"When we drove towards the school from the village, the first thing we saw was the wall, which had been decorated along its outer surface with panels of paintings. The effect was stunning - the pictures were striking and varied in subject - they included the school crest, maps (The Gambia and Africa), health topics, animals and aspects of school and village life. The paintings had been done by one of the boys in Grade 9 and a member of staff and were obviously a source of great pride to the headmaster, staff and all the children. Three green-painted metal gates had been set into the walls - two small single gates in the side walls for pedestrian access and one pair of large double gates in the front wall for vehicles. We were delighted to see this evidence of extra effort that had been put into making the school a more exciting place in which to teach and study."
AIDS is not a serious problem in The Gambia at present and there are many posters in towns and villages about prevention, in an effort to keep it that way.
Use well water rather than water from the river, boil it and keep it covered