Early school-leavers get practical training
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CTA. 2002. Early school-leavers get practical training. Rural Radio Resource Pack 02/1. Wageningen, The Netherlands: CTA.
Permanent link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10568/57137
The National Youth Service Scheme in The Gambia selects one hundred students per year, and offers training in a wide variety of practical skills. This report describes how the training curriculum is organised, and how students who complete the course benefit from it.
Early school-leavers get practical training CUE: Children who are forced to leave school early because of poverty, may find they have few opportunities to learn a trade and build a strong future. But for some such children in The Gambia, a government scheme is offering a way forward out of poverty. The National Youth Service Scheme draws about 100 young people a year from across the country, the candidates being selected by interview at a regional level. The trainees are fully funded throughout their period of training, and are able to choose which type of work they wish to learn. Agriculture is a popular choice, as Ismaila Senghore discovered when he spoke to the Head of Administration of the scheme, Mr. Sheriff Gomez. IN: ?We have a large farm ? OUT: ? people back to the land. DUR?N 3?20? BACK ANNOUNCEMENT: Mr. Sheriff Gomez on how The Gambia?s National Youth Service Scheme is alleviating poverty by equipping young people with practical skills. Transcript Gomez We have a large farm, 30 hectare farm at Niani Beteh, which the National Youth Service Scheme targets to attract people to engage in all the facets of agricultural training: animal husbandry is one of them, horticulture, cash crop production, poultry, orchard production, bee-keeping, whatever it takes. Because we believe these things will have a market, we believe these things will become sustainable wherever they are grown, because there is a large demand in the country for agricultural production. Senghore Now what is the cycle of training, how many years? Gomez The national youth service scheme is mandated to train young people for two years, and that starts with an orientation at the camp, where we bring all of them who are trained together, put them in a camp, train them together for six weeks orientation, where they can chose the fields that they want to train in by themselves, and then we find now the institutions, relevant institutions, and quality institutions that can train them. And we train them free; the institution bears this cost for the young persons, and we train them on that regard, and then distribute them out. So far since inception in 1996 we have recorded 600 core members so far. We are in the sixth batch which marks our 618 core members under training now. Senghore What is the training format? How much is practice and how much is theory? Gomez We in this scheme here have always advocated that we need, because of the short duration, a training package that will be practical oriented. That?s why we always endeavour for 85% practical and then 15% theory. We have recognised that within two years one person cannot be an expert. However we believe if you go through a co-ordinated, tailor-made programme, even if you are not an expert you will have received sufficient training to be able to put you out there, give you some help, and then you start on your own. So what we do is, for instance, we get to the Gambia college, they devise the training modules, based on their experience in the training department, in the training field, that they believe is appropriate for the individual, and then with this now they now inculcate this training into the young persons. Senghore That sounds really good, because here I think the main thrust would be to stem the rural-urban drift, and since your people hail from the rural areas, a majority of them, I think it will go a long way in making sure that youth are established in the agricultural domain. Gomez There is always a strong affinity between the young person and agriculture and the land. So what we are trying to do here at the National Youth Service Scheme, is to train you in agriculture, show you that it is profitable, and then you can even do it in dignity. And then we try to get you, in our final phase, seed money, to give you those attractions that will now take you back to where you come from, establish you there, and then you start your cultivation. And I think it is quite correct to say that that attraction is there, and that is what the National Youth Service Scheme is trying to access now, to get people back to the land. End of tape