Promoting girls education with particular reference to the sciences, the Nyapui Senior Secondary School of Excellence will commence operations in September 2021 in Combema town, Kenema district as the first science school for girls in the country.
According to the Project Manager of the Improvement of Education Infrastructure and Quality Education Service in Kenema executed by SEND Sierra Leone with funds from TERRA TECH Forderprojekte e.v, the idea for establishing a school of excellence for girls was initiated by SEND Sierra Leone Country Director, Joseph Ayamga who believes in women empowerment.
He disclosed that the School will only provide for Secondary School level with seven class-rooms, four laboratories (Chemistry, Physics, Biology and Computer), Teachers Common-room, multi-purpose hall, dormitory, accommodation for Principal, library and very soon the Hostel will be completed to accommodate a total of 360 pupils.
The Project Manager assured that at the moment whiles they await the construction of the Girls Hostel, they will provide a school bus that will be transporting the girls from their homes to the school, disclosing once it’s open it will be handed over to the Government for onward management.
Explaining about the additional facilities, he said the initial land allocated for the project was four acres but due to the request from various school stakeholders they have requested for additional pieces of land for the construction of recreational centre that will include football field, volley ball and basketball courts among others.
According to the Kenema District Deputy Director of Education, Madam Agnes N. Kamara, girl child education in Africa is difficult due to customs and tradition, economic and societal factors that in most cases lead to girls dropping out from schools.
She disclosed that Nyapui is one school the country needs, explaining that due to the poor foundation of sciences at the Secondary School level most girls upon enrolment at the university go for soft spot courses, which in most cases are out of their desire and job market, assuring of Government support to ensure the school operate effectively in that part of the country.
The Deputy Director of Education maintained that if some practical aspect of agricultural such as fishpond, animal husbandry among others are included to the already available facilities it will be nice for the girls and country.
She called on the community people to ensure they provide guidance and security for the girls and also ensure they own the project which according to her will expose their community to the rest of the country as girls will be coming from everywhere to access education in that facility.
Madam Kamara maintained that in the just concluded BECE exams Kenema district recorded the highest girl child pregnancy rate based on statistics provided, calling on the girls to ensure they get enrolled once the process starts, assuring that they will ensure only Teachers with Science qualifications are employed to teach at the school.
The Kenema District Council Chairman, Mohamed O’Level Sesay maintained that girl child education has been left out for far too long which is affective development, calling on parents to regularly monitor their girls child movements and activities on a daily basis and also enquire about their friendship.
“This project is to build on the capacity of the girl child to compete with their male counterpart in society on the area of sciences, “he said, stating that enrolment will be based on competence as they would not bend the rules, which is why they have warned all stakeholders to hands off the admission process that should be handled solely by the school authorities.
The Town Chief of Kenema City, Chief Momodu Ngambulango, maintained that Bo town is far ahead in terms of development as compared to Kenema due to their willingness to provide land for the construction of more schools, assuring that they are willing and ready to provide more land for the extension of the project.
He commended SEND Sierra Leone for their intervention in the area of promoting girl child education, which according to him is the backbone for every nations development. He called on the people of Combema town to be prepared for rapid development once the school starts operations in September.
Abdul Karim Vangao, the Kenema District Free Quality Education Coordinator, said SEND Sierra Leone has been capacitating Teachers to ensure quality education and the construction of a School of Excellence for Girls is a move in the right direction which complements government’s move towards girls child education.
Speaking to one lady who dropped out of school in Combema town, Mary Kamara, she maintained she dropped out of school due to lack of funds, requesting for solar light at the Nyapui School of Excellence so that it will not be a white elephant. She called on the girls to make use of the opportunity.
The Chairman of TERRA TECH Forderprojekte e.v, Gangolf Seitz, assured all that they will provide computers, solar electrification and even Internet connectivity for the school together with other necessary items for it’s effective operations as School of Excellence.
He appreciated the community people for providing the land for the construction of the school, which he believes will serve as gateway for development within their community.
It could be recalled that the Parliament of Sierra Leone recently enacted the 2021 University Act that makes provision for the establishment of additional universities including the Kono University of Science and Technology, which once it starts will be an advantage for the girls that will be graduating from the Nyapui School of Excellence.