You will find below a list of the most popular international and bilingual schools for expats in Gambia with fee information. It includes nursery schools, primary and secondary (high) schools and you will find the right school to prepare for International Baccalaureate, and other diploma in Gambia. Some schools will follow the American or British curriculums with English speaking programs while others are regulated under the French education system.
Education in Gambia
The Gambia Constitution mandates free and compulsory primary education for seven years. However, a lack of resources and infrastructure has led to a low enrollment rate. School fees are less of an issues since the President ordered a termination of fees for the first six years of schooling in February 1998. Unfortunately, the literacy rate is only about 46%.
The education system is formatted on the British system. It consist of:
- Primary school: grades 1 - 6
- Junior Secondary school: grades 7 - 9
- Senior Secondary school: grades 10 - 12
- University education
At the end of grades 6 and 9, there are examinations to proceed to the next level. At termination of grade 9, students may go into skills centres for pre-vocational training or continue with their education. At the end of grade 12 students take the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and depending on their results, they may go into the Technical Training Institute, Gambia College, university, or join the labour force.
International schools can be the perfect solution for an expat student (multinational corporation executives, children of diplomats, NGO staff) in Gambia. There may be some local population, but the schools are usually geared for an international student body. Schools may follow a curriculum model from the US, UK, or France. Primary instruction may be any language (and multiple languages are usually taught), but it is usually in English or French. Schools provide similar standards of schooling around the globe, providing for an easy transition between schools whether they are in France or Vietnam. Schools also provide internationally accepted accreditation such as the international baccalaureate.
Admission and enrollment procedures vary from school to school. Space is often limited and preference may be given to students based on nationality. Tuition tends to be expensive based on local standards, but offers high standards of learning, boast smaller class sizes, first-rate facilities, and extracurricular. Boarding facilities are available at some schools, but most only provide day classes.
Accreditation & Membership
- CoIS (Council of International Schools) is a non-profit association of international schools and post-secondary institutions which provides educational accreditation, teacher and leadership recruitment services, links to higher education, governance assistance and help with founding new schools.
- Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA) is among the premier accrediting associations in the world.
Classes from kindergarten through to Form 7 with English language instruction. The school follows the British National Curriculum. As a Cambridge International Examinations Centre, Marina follows the British National Curriculum and offers IGCSE, AS and A level. The Junior School at Marina includes classes for Nursery, Reception and Years 1-6 with the high school providing classes through graduation.
Rainbow Early Development Centre
Address: Off Kairaba Avenue
Tel: 220 7000459
Tuition Rates: Inquire at school
The professional, private education institution enrolls children from 3 years up to 11 years of age. It is a daycare nursery and primary school rolled into one. Lessons are taught in the English language.
Zenith Preparatory School
Address: P.O.Box 91
Tuition Rates: Inquire at school
An international private schools in Gambia that covers nursery and primary up to six years old.
Banjul American Embassy School (BAES)
Address: P.O.BOX 2596
Tel: (220) 449-5920
Tuition Rates: $4,250 - $11,000 per year
This pre-school to high school offers a high school program using an English based, North American curriculum. The campus consists of 4 buildings, playgrounds, and soccer areas. Accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools.
SBEC International School is the first bilingual (English- French) School in Gambia. Programs are available for pupils aged 8 months to 16 years (Daycare, Foundation, Junior and High Schools). The curriculum follows the National Curriculum of the British educational system, combined with the requirements of the French educational system. Marina is a not-for-profit foundation owned by the PTA (Parents Teachers Association) which votes for a Board of Governors which ultimately manages the day-to-day running of the school.
French School in Serrekunda
French language school teaching children from 2 years (CM2) to 16 years (CNED) of age. It is within the network of the Agency for French Education Abroad (EFMA).