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Gunjur Lower Basic School and Gunjur Upper Basic School carry EAF-Nansen tests forward

Two schools in Gunjur teamed up to carry forward additional work using the teaching kit developed by Mundus maris in the context of the EAF-NANSEN pilot activities. At Gunjur Lower Basic School the teachers, Mr Baboucarr Jatta and Mr Malang Jabang, continued using the teaching kit during classrooms exercises and outside observation during June and partly in the first week of July. The same was done by Mr. Soulay Jobe and Mr Alaji Saine at Gunjur Upper Basic School. They implemented the action plan, adopted by all school teachers and inspectors at the validation workshop end May when assessing the initial test phase of the teaching kit.


The exercises in classrooms consisted in

(i) imaginary drawings on the integrity of the ecosystem and the precautionary approach in the Arts and craft course;

(ii) commented texts and reports on the field trip and on the key principle regarding precautionary approach, both in the English course;

(iii) role plays in the frame of Social and Environmental Studies (SES).

During field trips, surveys are conducted, based on a questionnaire prepared by the teachers before immersions on the landing sites. The files used are processed by the pupils with the assistance of the teachers after the two field trips organised by the school.

Like in the other schools, the EAF-Nansen poster illustrating undesirable and acceptable fishing operations to illustrate five key principles of the ecosystem approach to fisheries, has been used regularly for exercises in class. Another poster specifically illustrating key components of the Senegambian marine ecosystem served to promote understanding of how marine species interact with one another and why it is important to keep the system in balance and avoid elimination of some species, e.g. by overfishing.

These two materials are considered as basic material utilised at least twice a week. The schools benefited from the active collaboration and support of Mr Alieu Touray, Manager of the Gunjur Community Fisheries Centre, Mr Janko Cessay, Principal Fisheries Assistant, and Mr Musupha Jassey from the Statistics Extension Cell from the Fisheries Department headquarters in Banjul.

The school inspector, Mr Jallow, came to Gunjur on 26th June 2012 for monitoring the experience. He spent the time between Gunjur and Tanji as the communities are close to one another. Mr. Jallow has given his impressions on the whole process in an interview.

The field observations were made during two field trips for taking fish measures at the level of Gunjur landing site. Two sessions were also organised in the conference room of the Gunjur Community Fisheries Centre to listen to a lecture from fisheries scientists and fisheries officials, followed by a session of questions and answers with the pupils.

From a teacher's perspective, these interactions with pupils are very important, because they give the kids interesting inputs to engage in later classroom exercises, e.g. focused on the key principle “improve science”. The two schools have decided to organise jointly their field trips by renting two buses. This way, they got the collaboration from the resource persons of the fisheries administration.

As in the other schools, the field observations (measuring fish, compiling results of the surveys and interviews conducted by pupils with the stakeholders met on the trips) were valued and exploited once back in the classroom either for reporting or for commented texts. These exercises were also conducted and supervised by the fellow-teachers in the other participating schools either in the frame of SES or in English courses.