Education is the key to freedom


Systemic education in Gambia

Where do we engage?

The non-profit organization 'AT EYE LEVEL - Systemic Education in The Gambia e.V.' promotes the pre-school education of three to seven year old children in preschools, the training and further education of teachers, as well as the equipping of preschools in The Gambia/West Africa, one of the poorest countries on the continent.

Gambia is located in West Africa. It is the smallest country on the African mainland. The official name is "Republic of The Gambia". The Gambia River, which gives the country its name, runs through the entire country from east to west. It is almost completely surrounded by Senegal. Gambia gained its independence from Great Britain in 1965. The official language of the country is English, as is the school system and the language of instruction.
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What does 'systemic' mean?

Systemic education means, in principle, empowerment for self-organisation. Education with the goal of self-organisation of the individual and his or her social systems is a path to freedom through experienced self-efficacy.  

Systemic education sees itself as an achievement of the learner, not as the result of input from outside. Students and teachers find their own ways of understanding and shaping themselves and the environment.
This is made possible by a high degree of self-activity and is linked to the absence of power and external determination.
The process of learning is based on reciprocity (circularity): Reciprocity between thinking and feeling, experiencing and acting, between teachers and pupils.
Methodological openness and diversity are indispensable, as is a relationship "at eye level".

Why education in Gambia?

Education means the promotion of independence and self-determination. It is an essential prerequisite for a self-reliant life with a future; education is the key to freedom.
However, illiteracy is still considerably widespread in The Gambia, and the English school system fosters it because instruction is conducted in English even in elementary school.
The problem is, however, that Gambian children learn their tribal languages (e.g., Mandinka, Wolof, Fulla) at home
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Without preparation through the learning of first English skills in a preschool, many children are denied a successful school career and the prospect of a qualified education. This is exactly where the commitment of our non-profit organization comes into play: Preschool children learn English in a playful way so that they can immediately follow on later in elementary school.

What happens with the donations?

The donations are used to finance the salaries of the teachers at our preschools as well as their training at the college in Brikama, the second largest city in Gambia, and their further qualification.
Necessary constructional measures, such as the building of school toilets, the construction of wells, the fencing of school grounds, the construction of playground equipment, etc. are also part of the investments, as are the collection of toy donations and their transport from Germany to Gambia.

Every year, several members of the association visit at their own expense and on a voluntary basis our partners in The Gambia, and accompany their work on site with words and deeds and the firm conviction that they are learners there themselves.

Our non-profit association "AT EYE LEVEL - Systemic Education in Gambia e. V." is registered in the register of associations of the district court of Cologne (VR 18607) and is officially recognized as a "Charitable Association" in The Gambia.                    (Company Number 2016/C3784)


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