PAGEANT - "Education is the future"

Yallal Tankonjala - Murals

Background

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Yallal Tankonjala is a small village in the North Bank Division, just off the main North Bank Road about 8km west of Farafenni. Yallal Tankonjala Lower Basic School has a US Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV), Laura Lyons, working there. The Peace Corps does not provide any money for the volunteers to use on school projects, so Pageant has been able to help with some funding for improvements to the library/resource room. This is all described on our main Yallal Tankonjala webpage.

Murals

Wherever you go in The Gambia, you will see walls covered in murals. These are not just decorative, but can be educational as well. They are used within schools to help with literacy and numeracy, and more widely to carry public health messages. Yallal Tankonjala school had a couple of murals which were in need of repainting; a map of West Africa and a patriotic mural featuring the Gambian president.

map of West Africa
map of West Africa

patriotic mural featuring the President
patriotic mural featuring the President

Laura put a proposal to Pageant for funding to repair the existing murals, and add lots of new ones, both at the school and throughout the village. She identified many potential sites, and had lots of ideas for subjects. Pageant gave 155 for this extensive programme of mural painting. At the school new murals were painted on many of the end walls of the school buildings, and more were painted at various sites in the village. Topics included: gardening and plants; health; literacy and the alphabet; a world map; maths; science & social studies. The murals are highly visible and offer learning and study opportunities outside of the school. So when going to the shop, or fetching water, people can be reading and studying, or at least becoming more familiar with written words. Even when children are playing football, or roaming through the village, they will be receiving important educational and environmental messages.

village gardens
village gardens

garden tools and plants
garden tools and plants

garden murals - getting started
garden murals - getting started

garden murals - how plants work - parts of a plant
how plants work - parts of a plant

garden murals - how plants work -  photosynthesis
how plants work - photosynthesis

health murals - wash your hands outside the school toilet
health murals
wash your hands outside school toilet

health murals - all about nutrition
health murals
all about nutrition

health murals - preventing malaria
health murals
preventing malaria

health murals - washing hands
health murals
washing hands

the alphabet - close-up of a section
the alphabet - close-up of a section


world map - starting work
world map - work starts

world map - work in progress
world map - work in progress

world map - completed
world map - completed

world map - completed
world map - being admired

maths murals - multiplication table
maths murals - multiplication table


maths murals - counting and fractions
maths murals - counting and fractions


solar system
solar system

Gambian flag
Gambian flag

all about time
all about time

the human body
the human body

Laura writes:- "After two months of intense work, Yallal Tankonjala now has 18 bright, colorful, educational murals in the school and the community. Not only is the community a slightly more interesting place, there are now opportunities for residents to read and learn in their own environment. Almost anywhere you are standing in the village, you can see one of the murals. That puts people constantly in view of written words; education is all around.

The process of creating these murals was almost in itself as beneficial as the product; everyone from teachers, to community members, visitors, students, and other Peace Corps volunteers helped out along the way. Sometimes, people would just be walking by and stop what they were doing to help us out. Having such great support from the community got everyone excited about this new educational opportunity, and really inspired students to study outside of school, and parents to encourage their children's education.

The project has only been completed for a few weeks, but we are already starting to see some positive results. Here are some comments I have heard and results I have noticed:

Pageant has been really pleased to help this up-country school, and we hope that we can co-operate with the Peace Corps again if similar opportunities arise. For more about how Pageant works with Peace Corps Volunteers and the schools they work in, please have a look at Pageant's Peace Corps Volunteers Page.

Menu 2 has links to information about the Peace Corps

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