October 7, 2020
By Babah Kanu (PRO)
The Gbendembu Old Students Association (GOSA) has over the weekend provided cash support to 13 teachers of the Gbendembu Baptist Secondary School who are economically affected by the 2019 Corona Virus pandemic.
The thirteen (13) affected teachers whose names are not on the payment voucher of the school, received a cash donation of Le400,000 each to boost their morale while preparing for the re-opening of schools on October 5.
The donation came from members of the Association at home and abroad.
These teachers said they are trained and qualified but they have not received a pin code from the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, while those who have been approved have not got salaries for over six months now. The teachers said they find it difficult to survive as the stipend provided by the school cannot upkeep them and their families.
The President of the Association, Mr. Gbassay Kargbo (Heggy) said during the donation that the move is to assist these teachers to continue to provide quality education for children in that part of the country.
Mr. Kargbo said the cash donation and a cartoon of chalk is to complement the efforts of government in providing quality education for Sierra Leonean children at this difficult moment of a fatal pandemic that has crunched the world and nation’s economies.
He admonished the teachers and school authorities to be steadfast in their work, as reward would always follow such selfless service.
The Deputy President, Umu Hawa Mansaray and Secretary General of the Association, Lansana Dan Sesay who accompanied the team all expressed sentiments for the good sacrifices of the teachers at this difficult moment.
In their response, the Principals of the school (JSS & SSS), Mr. Walter Kargbo and Mr. John Yankulay Kamara expressed appreciation and lauded the efforts of the old students in and out of Sierra Leone for this moves which they described as one of its kind.
They highlighted the challenges faced by the school which included the provision of stipend for teachers who have not been approved or paid by government and the strengthening of the science laboratory with teachers and learning materials which use to be the novelty of the school. They called for the continued support from the Government, GOSA and other development partners.
In his response, a recipient of the donation, Pastor Abraham Abu Dumbuya on behalf of his colleagues thanked GOSA for coming to their aid at this time of the year.
He lamented that most of them are trained and qualified but they are not approved by the Ministry of Education, and among them are approved teachers with pin code who have not paid salaries for the past one year, probably due to Covid 19.
He said the donation does not only serve as a motivation for the teachers but also a show of patriotism on the part of the donors, the reason they are very happy and hopeful.
The team was received by the deputy Financial Secretary, Mr. Monoh Zinto Kargbo who is also a senior teacher of the school.
Investigation Officer of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Northern Region, Mr. Ibrahim Sesay also added a word of appreciation for the moves and advised the teachers to be transparent and accountable in their stewardship.
The Gbendembu Baptist Secondary School which gave birth to GOSA was established in the early 1970s as Self Help Bella Secondary School, named after its founder, late Hon. Andrew Bella Fofanah.
The school was later handed over to the Baptist Mission and later called the Gbendembu Baptist Secondary School which has today produced notable men and women who have greatly contributed to nation building.