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Revd. Norman Grigg

 
 
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Having established respectable developmental infrastructure in the 1960s and 1970s, the problem of efficiently sustaining such facilities became daunting pressures from the beginning of the 1980s’ to 1999. The three Chairmen & General Superintendents of the District of this era, the Rev’d E.B. Stafford (1983 – 88) of The Gambia, Rev’d K. John A. Stedman (1988 – 1994) from England, and the Rev’d Titus K.A. Pratt (1994 – 2003) from Ghana (the latter was the son of a former Chairman) were confronted with very severe cash flow problems which were compounded with threats from external donors to cut-back their development assistance portfolio unless certain conditions were adhered to. Some external development partners downright terminated their involvement in the medical and agricultural sectors, the backbone of social development effort of the Methodist Mission – The Gambia. The District leadership was left with no alternative but to review all structures of Mission, including the proposal of innovative strategies for the education sector.

It was in this light that the 155 th Gambia District Synod at Bakau (1995), decided to resume its involvement in private secondary and high school education. The original proposal was to start a Gambia Technical & High School. After much debate on the logistics involved and the urgent time constraint of the demand, the Mission decided to opt for a Gambia Methodist Academy (GMA) in lieu of the proposed Gambia Technical & High School. In September 1995, GMA was allowed temporary residence at the premises of the Methodist School for Learning Disabilities in the Kanifing Institutional Area, near opposite the Gambia Radio & Television (GRTS) Headquarter studios. A year later (1996), GMA assumed its 90% GAMWORKS-sponsored purpose-built attractive premises at the Bakau Highway, next door to Radio Gambia Studios. Under its first Principal, Geoffrey A. Goode, a highly disciplined Gambian Educationist, the school made the desired impressive impact on the community. Within a decade, the results of both the national and international examinations serve to testify that the GMA has assumed the position of one of the best rated premier secondary and high schools in The Gambia.

At Brikama, a major metropolis of the Western Division, the Mission founded a new private paying secondary and high school in the model of the GMA. It was called the Brikama Methodist Academy (BMA). In July 2008, this school population had grown to 893 pupils and 25 teaching staff.

An Education Secretariat was established in September 2008. This institution was created to evaluate, coordinate and plan the educational requirements of Mission. This office has been put under the direction of an Education Board. The first Executive Education Secretary is Mr. Jonathan A. Goode, a dynamic Gambian Educationist.

 


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