Completing secondary education in the late 1990s in The Gambia when the first and still the only university was at its every formative stage, limited Edrissa’s opportunity for higher academic education.
Realistically, the asking tuition fee and the limited government entry scholarship positions puts it beyond his reach. Luckily, the Gambia College offered him a three-year Advanced Diploma in Education graduating a ‘Qualified Teacher’ with the Higher Teachers’ Certificate.
The diploma guaranteed him employment as a secondary school teacher of English language and Agricultural Science. Upon leaving the shores of the Gambia in 2003, Edrissa enrolment at Leicester Business Academy to study Business Management and became an associate member of Association of Business Executive (ABE) after a successful attainment of Levels 5&6 qualifications in 2008.
He returned to the classroom as a student from 2015 to 2017 at Central College (Nottingham) to undertake a CACHE Levels 2 and 3 qualifications in Supporting Teaching and Learning in Schools. While working as a Classroom Practitioner at Windmill L.E.A.D in Sneinton, Mr. Touray enrolled at Nottingham Trent University to study a BA (Hons) Education – Policy and Practice and was a member of the university’s class of 2020. He is currently pursuing a master’s degree in education at Nottingham Trent University.
Edrissa’s professional teaching career started at Ndungu Kebbeh Basic Cycle School in The Gambia as a subject specialist teacher of English Language and Agricultural Science for students in Grades 7-9 (School Year 7-9). Upon retraining in the UK, he embraced the educational cultural differences and adjusted to the change in pedagogical approaches when he was fist given an opportunity at Windmill L.E.A.D Academy in 2015 as a student volunteer on classroom contact work experience.
Acknowledging his appreciation to Ellie Green (then headteacher), he recollected the speed at which the school confirmed his longer-term contract just a month into his probation where he remained January 2021.
As a Teaching Assistant, he supported Special Needs children (including those on the Autism Spectrum) and high behaviour profile children requiring tailored support. A vital experience that will become an essential tool in his locker as he took up a more challenging job in February 2021 with Fearless Youth Association (FYA) as a Youth Development Manager.
FYA engages young people on the dangers of knife crime and awareness training and delivers employability skills development training for young people who are not in education, employment, or training (NEETs). Addition to his management functions, Edrissa is a tutor of Recognizing and Safeguarding Against Knife Crime and Business Administration Skills Level 1. Both Qualifications are Open Award accredited. He is also an Internal Quality Assurer at the training centre.
As part of FYA’s youth employability skills development drive through the UK government Kickstart Scheme, Mr. Touray coordinates a holistic employability support program for running cohorts of youths (16 – 24 years) to enhance their skills levels. The scheme enables them secure and retain jobs. He also sits in Voluntary Sector Organizations (VSOs) and Government Statutory Body meetings including Employment and Skills for Area 4 sub-group and Nottingham (Central).
He also provides support through a referral partnership between FYA and East Midlands Probation Services to young offenders of knife crime who serve custodial sentences in knife related crimes.
He delivers a 6-week knife crime awareness training with the objective of providing them with opportunities as well as to reflect on their lived experiences and environmental factors. He also provides training for professionals and organisations working with young people and knife crime victims at trauma units of QMC, youth workers of Nottingham City Council and other organisations.
Edrissa is leading an FYA – Child Protection Alliance (CPA) partnership project in The Gambia which is a skills transfer project that will see CPA design and deliver a Safeguarding and Child Protection training content to all children and young people practitioners in The Gambia.
Aside his professional life, Edrissa believes in collective positive action through community and continues to offer voluntary services to the Gambian Community in Nottinghamshire as Secretary. He is one of the pioneers of the popular annual Gambian Community Fundraiser event at Forest Recreational grounds in Nottingham.
Volunteering brought him much closer to young people hence his interest in welfare and development. This prompted him to start ‘weekend community academic intervention help scheme’ that provides supportive tuition in English Language and Math across KS1 -KS3 at Greenway Centre in Sneinton since 2016. This scheme grew into what is now registered with the Company’s House as Tailored Education and Community Consulting Service Ltd (TECCS) from 2020.
Edrissa is a hands-on father who loves reading, community engagements, article writing, and football particularly watching my beloved Arsenal.