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Workshop highlights and results


The workshop was held in Serrekunda from 28 to 29 February 2012 in Serrekunda Lower Basic School. It was attended by 8 teachers from the four following institutions: Gunjur Lower Basic School (2); Gunjur Upper Basic School (2) Immaculate Lower Basic School (2) and Tanji Lower Basic School (2). In addition to these four institutions involved from the initial phase needs assessment of the project, Serrekunda Lower Basic School was also represented by two teachers.

In addition to the teachers considered to be the main beneficiaries of this project, the following people participated: (i) the FAO Representative in The Gambia, Dr Babagana Ahmadu, was replaced in the occasion by Mr. Thomas Palma, who performed the official opening (ii) the National Director of Fisheries of The Gambia, Nfamara Dampha (iii) the Focal point of the Nansen Project in Gambia, Mr Ousman Job, (iv) the Representative of FAO Headquarters, Ms Silvia San Marco, (v) the Representative Mundus maris, who is at the same time project coordinator Gambia and Senegal, Mr Aliou Sall, and finally (vi) the two school inspectors, Messrs. Njayy and Kemo Jallow. The latter two were identified to assist teachers during the test and later deployment of the proposed teaching aids - once confirmed - in the official curriculum.


The seminar was held as planned, once the agenda was presented and accepted by all participants. To the delight of all participants, at the request of the headmaster of Serrekunda, who served as the host, they were treated to a surprise presentation of a sketch prepared by the pupils of school.

Following the official opening, objectives and expectations of the seminar were presented by the representative of Mundus maris, followed by the representative of FAO-Rome, who made the presentation of Nansen Project. The second presentation is crucial to the running of the seminar to the extent that some of this footage was devoted to the ecosystem approach to fisheries as conceived by the Nansen Project and its constituent "key principles".

Following this, Aliou Sall returned to present the various components of the teaching kit. There ensued a discussion between presenters and participants. The various interventions enabled the teachers to receive clarification from Mundus maris and FAO-Nansen on the support materials contained in the teaching kit.

This first exchange in the form of questions and answers has also been interesting for collecting relevant comments from participants on the proposed teaching aids.


Among others, the teachers proposed improvements to the fish ruler for which they suggest that full colour photos of the fishes be used so that students can better identify them.


This suggestion was also made at the workshop in Senegal.


Similarly, the two posters contained in the kit were the subject of rich exchanges with teachers, who suggested slight changes in content in order to ensure their efficient use and later roll-out, when integrating the ecosystem approach to fisheries in the official curriculum.


All contributions for an improvement teaching aids were taken into account by the expert team of representatives of the FAO-Nansen and Mundus maris. However, improvements could be considered definitive only after the final validation workshop, scheduled for in about a month, once the testing of these aids has been completed in real life situations, both in class and outside (see below actions planned for the test).

After this first day, used for updating participants on the Nansen approach and providing explanations concerning the content of the kit, the second day was devoted to working groups.


Both groups had received prior instructions, based on five key principles, which they assimilated very well in view of returning to the plenary with concrete proposals for specific messages and exercises to test both in the classroom and outside.


The two groups were moderated respectively by the representative of the FAO-Nansen and by the representative of Mundus maris. After much of the second day spent in interactive group work, participants met in plenary session with the following objectives (i) feed back the work of each group to the other and (ii) have the teachers concerned propose the exercises they intend to implement with their class in the test phase.

The actions planned at the community level involved in the project can be summarised broadly as follows:

Exercises in class

  • Designs (Use your imagination)
  • Posters
  • Discussions with external stakeholders (fisheries experts and old fishermen)
  • Story telling about fishing
  • Songs
  • Theater
  • Reports on external observations (results of measurements and statistics collected)

Exercises / observations outside class

  • Measurements (landing sites, export plants, local fish markets)
  • Statistical data collections on fishing (landing sites, fisheries services, research center).

Comments and proposals for testing of the five key principles in the coming weeks were quite similar between the two working groups.

Click to see the overview of their programme:
Group 1 - Group 2.

Before concluding the workshop, all participants were invited to express their overall appreciation.

The distribution of voting points between the smilies suggests that the content of the workshop and teaching kit was unanimously appreciated and that participants approach the test phase in school on a high note.

Photos on this page by Aliou Sall, unless indicated otherwise.