September 17, 2018
By Alusine Sesay
The lone community Primary School at Yaryah Village, Sandor Chiefdom, Kono District, currently lies in complete ruin, prompting pupils to take classes in the open, exposed to several hazards.
According to Komba S. Menjor, Secretary of the Yaryah Development Committee, the school, which was established in 1974, was destroyed by heavy wind in 2016, and that they have made several moves to get it fixed but to no avail.
“When it rains or when there is a strong wind, the children’s books are blown away and learning is disrupted. Sometimes the school children are forced to flee to nearby houses and would return when the wind or rain ceases. This has been the appalling condition of learning since 2016 for the school children,” he said.
The school, which is yet to be approved by the newly named Ministry Primary and Secondary Education, albeit it immense contribution to education for the past 40 years, has approximately 330-340 pupils, according to Menjor, who added that the number could increase to 500 this academic year as a result of the free quality education flagship programme of the ‘New Direction’ administration.
Menjor told Concord Times that the school serves three villages in Sandor Chiefdom in Kono district, and that it has produced several personalities, with some living overseas.
Since 1974, he said, the school has solely been run by the community, adding that the staff strength is six teachers, although only two are on the government payroll while the rest are being paid by the community through contributions from parents.
He said government has refused to approve the school on the basis that they lack a proper structure and dearth of trained and qualified teachers.
With the introduction of free quality education by the administration led by President Julius Mada Bio, Menjor and other community leaders have called on the new government to approve the school and help with the provision of a better structure conducive for learning.
In addition, Menjor informed Concord Times erstwhile Member of Parliament, Hon. Federick Sorie promised to fix the dilapidated school structure and that he even provided 50 bags of cement plus some tons of iron rods. “But he lost his seat in the 2018 parliamentary election he could no longer be reached for further assistance,” he said. “We are now calling on the government, philanthropists and NGOs to come to our aid.”