JATTA SCHOOL KOTU
The Jatta School, vigorously run by Mr. Saikhou Jatta, was within a stone’s throw from our hotel. The entire school consisted of just one single classroom, in which pupils aged 5 to 12 all sat together. Everything neatly arranged according to body size (the smallest ones close to the blackboard and the largest ones in the rear) and according to sex, the girls on one side of the classroom and the boys on the other.
Just like the Community Centre in Bakau, they did not have any school materials at all and Mr. Jatta thought it would be a good idea if we tried to do something about that. Thanks to the cooperation of a number of benefactors in The Netherlands, we could fulfil his wish and both the pupils and the two teachers running the school were supplied with the necessary school materials.
As Mr. Jatta was renting the premises from a wealthy Gambian whose daughter had got married and she wanted to move in there with her new husband, he had to make way. Saikhou then found a suitable location in the northern part of the city of Serrekunda for the construction of a new school. During a few years, we also provided this Jatta School with all sorts of school necessities and in 2002 we could surprise Saikhou with a truckload full of building materials for his school after a fund raiser at a Dutch school had proved to be a great success! Its pupils had broken all records and so their teachers could hand us a big, fat cheque for the new Jatta School.
We kept on supporting the school financially for a while after this, until it had become independent enough as well. Next, we came into contact with a school in the remote bush village of Busura.