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Kartong, West Coast, Gambia
Studies in performance of traditional Manding music (singing, kora, balafon, guitar, dance, drums), theory, instrument building, music technology, history studies, film and media, general school subjects.
Opened in 2015, this academy is named after Amadu Bansang Jobarteh, a former master griot. It is the first school in Gambia to offer an integrated study of music and academic education, specialising in the area of Manding music and dance. It is open to talented students between the ages of 8 and 14 years, many of whom are orphans, and all come from families unable to pay school fees. All students have received sponsorships from the founder Sona Jobarteh and generous sponsors. Students in both the junior and senior departments also study general school subjects in the program as well as participating in outdoor activities in agriculture and poultry farming. Specialist music and dance courses are also available to international students. It is hoped to expand the enterprise to a comprehensive vocational training program for those 18 years or older. Facilities include a large concert hall, recording studio and library.