Exam Time in The Gambia

14 May 2013

Steve Atyeo, IOP Coordinator for The Gambia, reports on his latest visit to Africa.

science demo in Gambia

April is the month when Grade 12 physics students in The Gambia (and much of West Africa) face up to the challenge of practical exams.

Many students will have had little experience of practical work since physics equipment is in such short supply in Gambian schools, and yet they still have to complete a practical exam as part of their final assessment!

Responding to requests from Gambian teachers, and following on from a similar programme last year, we decided to conduct two days of practical activities for physics teachers, giving them the opportunity to try out some experiments that were likely to be similar to those faced by their students a week or so later. Forewarned is forearmed!

Measuring results in Gambia

The two workshops facilitated and run by myself and the Gambian team of Samuel Koidia and Saidu Gbla took place in the first week of April. These were attended by physics teachers from all over the country and proved to be extremely successful. The practical activities included being very close to those that were in the actual exam! All thanks to Samuels’ careful research of past papers (and a bit of inspired guesswork!)

Not surprisingly, we were asked to come back again next year!

Steve Atyeo