Most Gambian schools tend to put much emphasis on ‘scholarly’ performance and a rather schoolish, technical approach in which memorizing and reproducing (‘chalk and talk’) still predominate. Children who are lucky enough to be able to attend education, are confronted with overcrowded classes, a poor arrangement of classrooms and scarce materials and development tools.
This contextualisation is important for a full appraisal of the great importance of The Swallow project. As to contents, the school works on the different aspects of comprehensive child development. Class observations reveal several positive aspects.
In general, a quiet and disciplined learning and working climate reigns in the classes.
Prior knowledge is activated at the beginning of the class and it happens that teachers start with the formulation of objectives for their lesson.
A non-authoritarian coaching style of the teachers is characteristic for The Swallow. Generally, teachers show a gentle, respectful attitude towards the children, which generates a feeling of security.
(Out of the evaluation report of Belgian experts, 2014)