By Francis Ndanema in Moyamba
Network Support for Peace Education (NESPE), in collaboration with Plan Sierra Leone, has donated 171 solar panels to 171 primary and secondary schools in the Moyamba District. The donation is to provide light to schools where the Girls Education Challenge project is being implemented in the district.
Speaking on the rationale for the donation, the National Coordinator of NESPE, George Gbenger, told the people that his organization is currently working in partnership with Plan Sierra Leone and other local NGOs to implement the ‘Girls Education Challenge’ project, which aims at increasing the enrolment, retention and completion of school by girls.
According to Mr. Gbenger, they have discovered that many girls that are enrolled in primary schools drop out of the school before reaching JSS III. “We are currently targeting JSS girls to ensure they complete the junior secondary school level,” he said.
The NESPE coordinator informed the beneficiaries that his organization has about six study group coordinators who are monitoring the various study centers to ensure the pupils make maximum use of the facilities.
He thanked Plan Sierra Leone for providing the funds for his organization to establish the centers as well as to monitor their activities, describing the study centers as the backbone of the success of the GEC project for the reason that the girls could only be retained and completed their education if they study hard.
Gbenger stressed that they are currently working on providing a conducive study environment for the girls to ensure the GEC project succeeds.
However, some Moyamba residents have criticized NESPE for making the donation at a time when schools are about to close.
“The beneficiaries would not be fully utilized since schools will close down in less than two months,” an elder told Concord Times on condition of anonymity.
Responding to this concern, the national coordinator of NESPE insisted that the pupils would still utilize the facilities for the two remaining years of the project, adding that the girls can still use the light to study even during the holiday.
He reaffirmed his organization’s commitment in ensuring they get the required materials that can foster a conducive study environment.