May 16, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai
Bonthe District Council has on Saturday, 13th May, 2017, supported nearly 2,000 National Primary School Examinations (NPSE) candidates from 85 primary schools with accommodation, feeding and transportation.
According to the Deputy Chairman of Bonthe District Council, Willy Parker, the nearly 2,000 NPSE candidates were drawn from eight out of 11 chiefdoms in the district, adding that the said chiefdoms are very difficult to access because most of them are surrounded by water.
“Bonthe District Council has been doing this since the Chairperson, Madam Rita Ngadie Savage, was elected in the past Local Council elections. She saw the need to be helping the pupils because most of them were and are still coming from difficult terrains to write the exams in the only available centres in the three chiefdoms of Imperi, Jong and Sogbini,” he said.
He disclosed that three out of the 11 chiefdoms have not been participating in the NPSE exams.
“Teachers are afraid to go to those three chiefdoms to teach because they are hard-to-reach areas in Bonthe district,” he said.
He recalled that previously, when the NPSE candidates came to Mattru in the Jong chiefdom to write the exams, it used to be a night of celebration and jubilation for them.
“They used to spend the rest of the night at night clubs which was having a negative effect on the outcome of the results. Some who have relatives in Mattru were harboured by boys, so the pregnancy rate was high. Those whose parents were very poor used to trek from 20 or more miles to Mattru. This was why the council had to step in to be providing feeding, lodging and transportation,” he said.
He boastfully said since the council’s intervention some five years ago, the results have significantly improved.
The BonDC Deputy Chairman said bulk of the funds for this year’s support came from the council, although he disclosed that World Vision provided fuel for vehicles used to transport candidates to their respective examination centres.
“We used to get support from Sierra Rutile Foundation but nothing was given to us this year.”
Chairperson, Bonthe District Council, Rita Ngadie Savage, in her address to candidates before entering into the examinations hall at Centennial Secondary School, urged that they be calm in the hall, read and understand questions very well before they could attempt answering them.
“Council has always been giving scholarship to the three best performing candidates of the school. They will also be provided with uniforms,” she said.
Head Teacher of UBC primary school in Luawa, Jong chiefdom, Jonathan B. Umaru, said he took 41 NPSE candidates to Mattru for the exams, adding that they were provided with lodging, feeding and transportation by Bonthe District Council.
Acting Head Teacher of Roman Catholic Primary School Nyadehun village, in the Imperi chiefdom, Abdulai K. Mansaray, said he took 13 candidates for the exams and were all supported by the Bonthe District Council.
Other head teachers expressed similar views, thanking the council for the intervention.