School fees in Gambia (Senior High School)

Hi! I've made friends with a young Gambian. Apparently he has 2 years left of schooling but cannot afford it. Can someone tell me how much are the yearly school fees for senior high school in Gambian dollars. Thanks, Chris

School fees vary depending on the school one is attending. I think he's the best person to ask, you can ask for school invoices and receipts to confirm. I hope this is helpful.

Depends on the school that he attends,we have just paid the fees for a boy we sponsor and he is just over 16 yrs old and they were 24,000 dalasi for the year which includes his uniforms,school fund,library fees, computer fees,report card,exam fees,extra classes.

Hi Chris,if you have made friends with this young man via Facebook or similar and do not actually know him and have not been to The Gambia then be very careful as he could be scamming you.I am afraid it happens a lot and he may be in touch with several other people at the same time.You need to do some research on which school he attends and you need to see receipts for the school.Why is he now needing his fees paid, what has happened and can be not go to a government school where he doesn't have to pay.

Kirky :

Hi Chris,if you have made friends with this young man via Facebook or similar and do not actually know him and have not been to The Gambia then be very careful as he could be scamming you.I am afraid it happens a lot and he may be in touch with several other people at the same time.You need to do some research on which school he attends and you need to see receipts for the school.Why is he now needing his fees paid, what has happened and can be not go to a government school where he doesn't have to pay.

Hi Kirky Thanks for your good advice. He does some genuine. I met him on Instagram. I talked with him on whatsapp. His parents both died and his uncle is unwilling to help. He left school when he couldn't afford to pay. He has 2 siblings who don't go to school. Talked with them on whatsapp video. He has a further 2 years of senior school to finish and is only 18 years old. Day to day life is a struggle as he doesn't work and has 2 siblings to look after. You're right about scamming. I met a genuine good phillipine girl online. She has only asked for money a couple of times over 2 years. I told her I didn't have the money. We are still communicating so she is the real deal but there are many scammers out there and so many people easily get duped.

Hi Chris,as long as you are aware of  how some people make a living and are very very careful what you say and send.Its a very poor country but the majority of the people are lovely and will share what little they have.We go 3 times a year and have probably been well over 30 plus times now and I know that there are certain ones (usually young men) who try their luck to befriend you and are, I have to say they are very clever at it,and will chat away for months or longer making sure they get your trust and then will maybe try with sob stories like my baby has no milk,my wife,mom,baby is sick and I can't afford treatment,I have lost my job,the crops have failed,and more often school fees because my dad,mom are ill or have died and I can't pay fees.If you have never been to The Gambia it is difficult I am sure.We sponsor a boy's education he's 16 plus now and have done since he was 4years old,we know all of his family and always visit when we go and we have also visited the school and his mother always sends any paperwork via WhatsApp for us to see and we always have the fee receipt when we pay.The school he goes to is by gambian standards very good and is private so does cost.In The Gambia the government education starts at age 7/8 so before that you pay private if you want your child to go to school and of course some people are willing to pay for education all through but most gambians cannot afford to pay so their children go to the government ones but there are still some costs involved but mostly for uniforms,books,pens,pencils.If you want any more information on schools or the one he is at maybe I can help,we are going to The Gambia in a couple of weeks.So just be careful and I don't want to put you off but to make sure you are aware.

Kirky :

Hi Chris,as long as you are aware of  how some people make a living and are very very careful what you say and send.Its a very poor country but the majority of the people are lovely and will share what little they have.We go 3 times a year and have probably been well over 30 plus times now and I know that there are certain ones (usually young men) who try their luck to befriend you and are, I have to say they are very clever at it,and will chat away for months or longer making sure they get your trust and then will maybe try with sob stories like my baby has no milk,my wife,mom,baby is sick and I can't afford treatment,I have lost my job,the crops have failed,and more often school fees because my dad,mom are ill or have died and I can't pay fees.If you have never been to The Gambia it is difficult I am sure.We sponsor a boy's education he's 16 plus now and have done since he was 4years old,we know all of his family and always visit when we go and we have also visited the school and his mother always sends any paperwork via WhatsApp for us to see and we always have the fee receipt when we pay.The school he goes to is by gambian standards very good and is private so does cost.In The Gambia the government education starts at age 7/8 so before that you pay private if you want your child to go to school and of course some people are willing to pay for education all through but most gambians cannot afford to pay so their children go to the government ones but there are still some costs involved but mostly for uniforms,books,pens,pencils.If you want any more information on schools or the one he is at maybe I can help,we are going to The Gambia in a couple of weeks.So just be careful and I don't want to put you off but to make sure you are aware.

Hi Kirky
They young Gambian said he needed 25 872 Gambian dollars. Sounds about right. I am a little suspicious about his behaviour. I told him before I might have the money ready late next year. He said just now it is a long wait and suggested if I could send money in November.  He keeps asking money for food.  I will keep monitoring his behaviour. He could be scamming. I do find it annoying when he asks for money and I tell him countless times I don't have it.  I know he is poor but he should show better etiquette. I don't mind helping poor people if they are genuine.  I am glad I came to these forums and read about your warnings.

Hi Chris,I strongly suspect that you are being scammed by this young man.When you are next in touch with him ask him which school he is attending,and what area of The Gambia does he live,what is his full name, first and surname.In The Gambia the people may be poor but they share what little they have and when it comes to food the extended family members look after each other.I know quite a few local people who would find out things regarding the school if I had the name and area it was in and does it even exist.The amount he has told you is a large amount so you should ask him what exactly that will pay for and he should be able to send you the printed paper which states all the costs involved for that particular academic year.We sponsor a boy and we have a copy of it and it states every item for his school year and it's on the headed school paper with details of the school.
As I said we are going over in a couple of weeks if there is anything you want me to do.

Hi Kirky! I am so glad I met you in the forums. I got my first smartphone in March this year. Opened up my Instagram account but I must admit I am very "green" when dealing with shady characters. Instagram is fun but there are a lot of people trying to scam you through that app. One thing I don't understand is if he is poor how does he afford a smartphone? Even I couldn't afford a smartphone before and I am living in a first world country and earning an income. The young Gambian doesn't attend school. He lives in a compound and collects firewood to get a bit of money. So far I've only sent $100 US and a box of food. I did have initial suspicions after he received the money. 2 weeks later he said he used up all the money for food for him and his 2 siblings. I was suspicious because I heard many poor Gambians are living on $1.25 a day.  I will get back to you. I will ask him what school he went to before. I have his full name and photo.

I think that the more you sit and think about it the more you realise that you are being taken for a ride.If he has no money,job etc then how does he pay any rent, because if he is in a compound with his 2 siblings he would need money for rent and I have been in a few compounds,some quite large,you may have say 15 or so rooms and a family of 5 or 6 or more will live in each room 10ftx10ft and wth very little in it,and probably sleep on the floor.They will have very little in the way of possessions apart from a small charcoal burner and a few cooking pots.So he needs to pay rent,not much by our standards maybe £2 or £3 a week plus if he had a light he would have to pay for electric another £2 a week or he will buy candle's.They all share a well for water and there maybe 2 toilets (just the long drop sort not flushing) and 2 sort of cubicles to shower but that will be with a bucket of cold water.And he would need to buy charcoal to cook.So,so far we have rent,electric or candle's,phone plus credit on phone.Food,well most gambians will go to the market pretty much every morning to buy for that day,rice mainly by the cup and bits of veg to go with it.Normally families tend to look after extended family members with a little food.
I am not sure how much $100 us dollars is but am pretty sure that would last a few months,and can I ask how did you send a box of food?
Another question you could ask him is the price of some things,I know a large bag of rice will last a family of 2 adults and 4 children for 5weeks as they measure everything out and rice costs, if they can afford to buy 50kg bag
Broken rice 1150 dalasi bag this is what most gambians will buy.
American rice 1250 dalasi bag
Sadam rice 1500 dalasi bag this is the best.
Personally I would not send any more money,I would say that you are very sorry but you can't afford it and just because you happen to live in US he thinks everyone is made of money,if he wants to be friends fine but I guess he is also trawling through other people to make contact with and could have several he is talking to as well as you.
Advice,if someone wants to befriend you they will only be able to if you let them and give out your details.Just sit and think about it.

I post on TripAdvisor Gambia Forum so can I ask if you are the same person as
Culture 27505811897.If you are then you can either contact me by sending me a private message or I could PM you or even on messanger.I await your reply.

Kirky :

I think that the more you sit and think about it the more you realise that you are being taken for a ride.If he has no money,job etc then how does he pay any rent, because if he is in a compound with his 2 siblings he would need money for rent and I have been in a few compounds,some quite large,you may have say 15 or so rooms and a family of 5 or 6 or more will live in each room 10ftx10ft and wth very little in it,and probably sleep on the floor.They will have very little in the way of possessions apart from a small charcoal burner and a few cooking pots.So he needs to pay rent,not much by our standards maybe £2 or £3 a week plus if he had a light he would have to pay for electric another £2 a week or he will buy candle's.They all share a well for water and there maybe 2 toilets (just the long drop sort not flushing) and 2 sort of cubicles to shower but that will be with a bucket of cold water.And he would need to buy charcoal to cook.So,so far we have rent,electric or candle's,phone plus credit on phone.Food,well most gambians will go to the market pretty much every morning to buy for that day,rice mainly by the cup and bits of veg to go with it.Normally families tend to look after extended family members with a little food.
I am not sure how much $100 us dollars is but am pretty sure that would last a few months,and can I ask how did you send a box of food?
Another question you could ask him is the price of some things,I know a large bag of rice will last a family of 2 adults and 4 children for 5weeks as they measure everything out and rice costs, if they can afford to buy 50kg bag
Broken rice 1150 dalasi bag this is what most gambians will buy.
American rice 1250 dalasi bag
Sadam rice 1500 dalasi bag this is the best.
Personally I would not send any more money,I would say that you are very sorry but you can't afford it and just because you happen to live in US he thinks everyone is made of money,if he wants to be friends fine but I guess he is also trawling through other people to make contact with and could have several he is talking to as well as you.
Advice,if someone wants to befriend you they will only be able to if you let them and give out your details.Just sit and think about it.

He said his uncle gave him and his sibling the compound so don't pay any rent. Apparently his uncle had bad relations with his father. His uncle doesn't help him or his siblings. I've just checked my smartphone and he hasn't replied. I asked him which schools did he attend before. Below is a link to his Instagram profile. I even started a fundraising page for him similar to go fund me. No money has been raised. I sent a box of food through the post office. Only $40 dollars worth. It was sent to Brikama Town Post Office. The $100 dollars I sent was through western union. His full name is Abdoulie Almamy Singhateh. Below is a link to his Instagram profile. He says he has only 2 years of schooling left and needs to complete it to have any hope for a job. So far he seems like a scammer. This is the first time for me to be scammed so it is a good lesson. I will await his reply on his smartphone and let you know.
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Kirky :

I post on TripAdvisor Gambia Forum so can I ask if you are the same person as
Culture 27505811897.If you are then you can either contact me by sending me a private message or I could PM you or even on messanger.I await your reply.

That is not me.

Hi again,  I know I ask a lot of questions but how long have you known this young man and are you male or female and where do you live,is it the US?
You said you sent him $100 and I did a bit of maths so if he isn't paying any rent then that would probably last him about about 8 weeks or more if he is very careful.And to send $40 worth of food would have cost you to send it.Rice is the most expensive food item and those who can afford it will buy a 50kg sack but most will go each day and buy a cup of so of rice plus a small amount of oil plus whatever they are putting in it,bit of veg etc.
Food items they buy on an everyday basis are
Rice,oil,tomato puree,stock cubes (maggi)  other things will be onions,carrots,cassava,cabbage, potatoes,peppers, tomatoes.
They wouldn't buy things like cheese,butter unless they had a fridge and they would use powdered milk.
So I think he is doing very nicely off you and am sure you are being scammed.

Hi Kirky!
Really appreciate your advice on this matter. I am Australian,male,and am currently living and working in Japan. That box of food only had cheap items of instant noodles of about 15 US plus postage fee of 25. It will take 3 months by sea to arrive. I estimate I have known him since June this year. He hasn’t replied to my question about which schools he went to. I just sent a message and requested him to answer the questions. If he comes up with details I will let you know.

He has just replied. Below is his reply.

“Brother I do my primary school in .... Janlanba Primary school  up to  My Upper Basie School. I do my Secondary school in Maahad secondary school maahad.school[at]gmail.com”

Hi again,thanks for the names of the school,I will see if I can find out anything about the school,but it might be helpful if he could let you know what area it is in like Brufut,Brusubi,Bijilo,Sukuta,Jambur,Yumdum,Serekunda, Busumbala there are so many areas and then hundreds of schools in each.
I must say if you have only known him since June this year he has done very well out of you so far and to ask for that large amount of money so quickly is very cheeky.
Ok if you do manage to find out what area the school is in that would be great,just tell him you are interested in the geography of The Gambia and Senegal and was looking on the map or something like that.
Have a nice day anyway.

Kirky :

Hi again,thanks for the names of the school,I will see if I can find out anything about the school,but it might be helpful if he could let you know what area it is in like Brufut,Brusubi,Bijilo,Sukuta,Jambur,Yumdum,Serekunda, Busumbala there are so many areas and then hundreds of schools in each.
I must say if you have only known him since June this year he has done very well out of you so far and to ask for that large amount of money so quickly is very cheeky.
Ok if you do manage to find out what area the school is in that would be great,just tell him you are interested in the geography of The Gambia and Senegal and was looking on the map or something like that.
Have a nice day anyway.

Hi! Jalanban

Hi again, I have found a couple of things for you to have a look at
www.gets.sunrise.org  gambian schools  have a look at this and it will give you an idea of costs for education at different stages.
I haven't found out anything about Jalaban primary school.
But I have found the senior secondary school and it is in Brikama (western/west coast region)
Maahad Senior Secondary School,Brikama,Kombo Central.
There is a Facebook page for more information.
Maybe you could get in touch with the school and ask if he was a pupil and you could ask what the fees are for each year.
It looks a fairly large school and IF you wanted to pay some towards his fees most schools of this size allow you to pay the fees direct to the schools bank account and they would give you those details.
I don't think I can do much more now,but IF you do decide to pay his fees you must be aware that he may then also ask for money for reference books and other things that he may need.The amount you quoted is a very large amount,and is more than we pay for our boy and we recently bought him a science book which cost £20 and also a scientific calculator plus more pens, pencil's,excerise books,but we knew when we first started to sponsor him 12 years ago that we would have to buy things if he wanted them and we set the money aside to cover his education and maybe college afterwards if he does well.
Also if you pay his fees for school you have to ask yourself where does he get money to buy food,transport,his credit on his phone, charcoal for cooking and day to day things for himself and his siblings.He may still ask you for money for these things.
So I think you have a lot to think about and decisions to make because once you start it won't stop.
Let me know what you decide,good luck.

Thanks so much for the information. He did mention he is near Brikama. I told him I can only help him so much. The money he wants for school which comes to 60 000 Japanese yen is nothing really. Shows how expensive Japan is. But I told him that money won't happen overnight and will save. I have bills as it is such as taxes and health insurance. I asked him before to come up with an amount to finish his final 2 years of schooling, pay for his lunch textbook and uniform so that is why the amount appears high.  I told him after that I won't be helping any more. I have my own life and plans for retirement. He appears very sincere but I will be contacting those schools and confirming information.

Just an update. I contacted the school and he was a former student of Maahad secondary school. Maahad said there are no school fees. Will ask some more questions such as how much for the text books uniform ecetera.

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