Harriet Ndow (1926 to 2019)

The death has been announced of Harriet Margaret Ndow, one of the most decorated Gambian educator and founder of Ndow’s Comprehensive Secondary School.

Born in October 1926, Mrs Ndows as she was fondly called, received her education at St. Joseph’s Infant Primary and Secondary schools before landing a colonial scholarship that took her to Achimota College in Gold Coast (present day Ghana) where she graduated as professional teacher.

She returned to the Gambia and started teaching as a qualified teacher in 1948 at St. Joseph’s Primary School in Banjul.

In 1955, she joined Portsmouth Training College in the UK where she did a course in headship in primary schools before proceeding to Oxford University to study management, teaching, reading and mathematics in the primary school.

After the completion of her studies, Mrs Ndow returned to Banjul and was made headteacher of the newly built Kampama School in 1963.

In 1966, she was moved to Serrekunda Primary School , where she taught until her retirement in 1981 and was credited for transforming it to one of the best primary schools in the country.

Following her retirement, instead of putting her feet up, Mrs Ndow returned to the classroom and established the first nursery school outside Banjul, St. Joseph’s Nursery, (now Ndow’s Group of Schools) to help with the educational development of the young, especially the poor.

She later established seven other schools including day care centres and High School. She also helped to develop the Gambia’s Girl Guide Headquarters, and served the organisation as a life president until her death.

Mrs Ndow’s contribution to the Gambia’s education sector never went unnoticed. She was given Medal of the Republic of the Gambia by Ex-president Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara and Commander of the Order of the Republic of Gambia by Ex-President Jammeh.