Education System in the Gambia


 EducationSchool/LevelGrade FromGrade ToAge FromAge ToYearsNotes
PrimaryLower Basic School167136 
MiddleUpper Basic School7913163 
SecondarySenior Secondary School101216193 
TertiaryUniversity      

Primary Education

Education in the Gambia takes place in 5 stages, namely lower basic, upper basic and secondary school, followed by undergraduate and graduate university. Although the 6 years of lower basic education at least is compulsory and free, a lack of universal facilities prevents this from becoming a reality for some. There is a selection examination at the end of this period which is the hurdle to continuing further.

Middle Education

Lower basic education continues for another 3 years leading to a junior school certificate.

Secondary Education

Those students whose parents can afford the cost of ongoing education and forgo an extra family income too, enjoy the relative luxury of 3 years at senior secondary school. Their core curriculum includes English language, mathematics, integrated science and social studies. They also take 3 – 4 elective subjects too, which may center on commerce, science or the arts. Finally, they sit for their west african senior secondary certificate examination.

Vocational Education

The Gambian Technical Training Institute was established in 1983 to manage programs in association with City & Guilds, Pitman Training UK and the Royal Society of the Arts. Its programs have expanded considerably in the interim, and it now offers more than 60 courses.

Tertiary Education

Gambia EducationThe Gambia College provides non-degree training in agriculture, science, nursing and midwifery, education, catering, and management.

The University of the Gambia was established in 1999, and offers undergraduate programs in humanities & social studies, economics & management science, and nursing and public health. It also offers 6 year courses in medicine and surgery too.

A master-plan for its future is illustrated here.


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