By Juldeh Njie
Key charity, a non-profit foundation has donated nineteen bicycles worth over fifty-seven thousand dalasi to Pakau Njogu Basic Cycle School in the North Bank Region.Modou Ida Bah, the alkalo of Pakau village, said the gathering marks a very important day in the history of the school, adding that the gesture will help those who travel for long distances to be proactive in school.He called on the foundation to partner with the school, saying it has underprivileged students whose parents are farmers and are “very poor”.“Most of the students have torn uniforms, most of them come to school without shoes and without the valuable materials for learning”.
Bakary Gitteh, principal of the school said the donation is timely and that they cannot over emphasize its importance because it will not only improve attendance but retention of students in the school.He stated: “Going through the admission profile of the school, I realised that the rate at which students are dropping from the school is very high. And I believe it is as a result of long distance travelling. But the donation will reduce the rate at which students are dropping from the academic ladder”.He went on to say that the donation will also help improve performance and attendance among students who commute long distance.
Whiles promising the donors of the school’s commitment in making sure that the bicycles are well taken care of, Gitteh called on them to help the school with teaching and learning materials because the school is located within a very poor community.In response, the president of the foundation, Ousman Trawally, said the foundation and its partners in England are committed to helping students in rural Gambia in terms of learning materials and through their survey they have realised that some students stride for a long distance.“The donated items might be small but we believe that the bicycles will go a long way towards making learning effective for the students”, he added.
Pa Kaba Suso, vice president, said the foundation is aimed at helping underprivileged students in rural Gambia. He said long distance travelling affects students in terms of performance and regularity.“This will not be our first intervention in the school because we have given only 19 bicycles and more than 200 students are in the school. We will liaise with our partners who are committed to helping the needy students to help the school”, he concluded.

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