ESCUELA MODERNA KEREWAN KINDERGARTEN OPENS IN THE GAMBIA
In 2013, AAI sponsored its second secular school and the first private secular school in the Gambia, the Escuela Moderna Kerewan Kindergarten (EMKK), in the city district of Kerewan in partnership with the Gambia Secular Assembly (an AAI Affiliate). The school was established to replace a Christian school that was closing in the area. The Escuela Moderna school opened with 3 full classes of students in September 2013.
The Escuela Moderna Kerewan Kindergarten (EMKK) is modeled on the Escuela Moderna ("Modern School") method developed by Spanish educational reformer and activist Francisco Ferrer in the first decade of the 20th century. This method is also known today as the "Montessori" method of teaching.
The Escuela Moderna Kerewan Kindergarten was conceived by the Gambia Secular Assembly to address the lack of private secular schooling in The Gambia. While public schools are available in the country, many families prefer to have their children attend private schools where classes are smaller and additional services such as meals and day care are available. Before the EMKK opened, all of the private schools in the Gambia were run by religious organizations that included religious indoctrination to their faith as part of their educational program.
As part of the opportunity to adopt and convert this failing school, the Gambian Ministry of Education required the GSA to to agree to put in a number of property and building improvements and repairs by the end of the Spring 2014 semester to bring the site up to code. The GSA immediately launched a capital improvements campaign to raise the funds needed to meet this challenge.