As the five-year partnership between Centre for Education in Mathematics and Computing (CEMC) and Youth Care Foundation (YCF) winds up, YCF has recently opened a new secondary school near Serekunda in The Gambia. Students from grades 9-12 in this West African community will now have more options to continue their studies.
Similar to the CEMC, YCF’s mandate is to enhance the participation and development of young people in science and mathematics, and to promote interest in science and mathematics education among youth in The Gambia. The partnership was established to help the local mathematics education system try to overcome many of its challenges. Working with the CEMC, the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education (Directorate of Science and Technology) and the Mathematics Association of The Gambia (MATAG), YCF has run annual math contests and teacher enrichment programs.
The Great Olympiad Mathematics Contest (GOMC) is styled on the contests offered by the CEMC. GOMC involves over half the secondary schools in the country and draws national media attention. A team was recruited from among the strongest participants to represent The Gambia at the 2010 Pan-African Mathematics Olympiad (PAMO) for the first time.
Several times over the past five years, CEMC personnel have travelled to Africa to participate in workshops for math teachers, which have been very well-attended. Like the teacher workshops that are offered in Waterloo, these training opportunities include practical and enrichment information that can be implemented in the classroom.
YCF has continued to extend mathematical outreach with school visits, hosting a summer workshop for the strongest students, sponsoring the national mathematics contest and organizing ongoing training for math teachers. Their work is receiving more local recognition and support at the highest levels of government in The Gambia.