Thursday, March 18, 2010


NEWS BANJUL, THE GAMBIA(MB)- Plans have been put in place for the subject of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) to be incorporated into the Gambian school curriculum through a life-skill programme, to academically enlighten students about FGM and its implications.

The life-skill programme curriculum would start from Grade 5 of primary school to senior secondary school level, a representative of the Curriculum Office under the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education has revealed.

At a one-day national conference on generating alternatives against FGM, held recently at the Paradise Suites Hotel in Kololi by GAMCOTRAP, Education representative Momodou Jeng said the scheme aims at getting students informed about everything related to their health and wellbeing, especially on FGM which “has a relation to their wellbeing”.
According to Mr Jeng, when students are exposed to the ideas and concepts of FGM, they become more knowledgeable about FGM and stand a better chance to either change their attitudes towards the tradition or to be able to know the health-related issues that directly affect them. “Actually, the students should be able to know and make their own decisions,” he said.

GAMCOTRAP has been collaborating with the education sector since the association started its sensitization campaign years ago about the practice of FGM, using the formal education sector, Mr Jeng noted, saying: “We started to collaborate with them [GAMCOTRAP] through material development and we are now getting into training, because the materials that have been developed were intended to integrate them to the life-skill programme.

“We have developed the materials in that respect and we need to train the teachers who are the users of the materials and those supervising them.”

Mr Jeng urged the public to critically look at FGM and its ramifications and to let debate on the issue continue unabated, saying people should try to understand the issues at stake and join the debate with critical minds.

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