Proprietress Solomon Ekuma Berewa Primary School, Mrs. Modu Conteh has disclosed that the school has not received subvention from the government for over four years now.
She made this disclosure during the thanksgiving service of the School at Charlotte Village in the Western Rural District, on Sunday 27th November 2022.
According to the Head Teacher of the school, Jestina Tham (Nee Pessima) she came to know that the government has been sending subvention, but it goes the wrong way after she mounted an investigation with regards to the issue.
She further revealed that only two teachers are on the government payroll. She mentioned that the rest of the other teachers are not on a payroll, but only receive a stipend from Annie Lansana’s coffers.
Modu Conteh (Nee Wilson), revealed that she had sent a complaint to the education ministry, adding that she looks forward to hearing from them.
She recounted how the school was officially opened in 2006 but mentioned that she had started the school in 2003 at her residence in Allen Town.
She told the press that the school at the time started with fourteen children. In 2007, the Ministry of Education approved the school for subsidy.
She opened an account at the ” Sierra Leone Commercial Bank after the school got its approval, but it was in 2018 that the school started encountering this problem.
She also said she had never interfered with the finances of the school, and she is patiently waiting on the intervention of the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School.
Tham disclosed that she joined the school in the last academic year, noting that only three teachers were on the staff list and twenty pupils were on the roll. “It was a difficult task and I must confess that at some point I became discouraged when I looked at the roll.
However, I summoned up the courage and took the challenge to run a school that hasn’t got a toilet facility when I came in,” she explained. “With all of these challenges, the school has not been receiving subsidies.” She told all present that as the school gradually increased, the number of teachers became another challenge to cope with.
However, she mentioned that much improvement has taken place.
Among the successes she highlighted include the following: Firstly, Tham revealed that the number of children has increased to one hundred pupils. She continued that after much lobbying in the community, “we were grateful to have a benevolent indigene in the person of Oseh Brown who took up the challenge to provide the school with toilet facility,” she disclosed.
She furthered that Brown’s efforts were later supported by Annie Lansana (daughter of the late Solomon Ekuma Berewa) to complete the project.
“Though the school does not receive subsidies, we are grateful to Annie Lansana who regularly gives financial support to teachers that are not on the payroll”.
In terms of academic performance, the Head Teacher revealed that in the last National Primary School Examination (NPSE), the school sent seven candidates, adding that five of them passed with very good grades.
“Recently, in the presidential national best teacher’s award, I was awarded as the best teacher in the Western Rural District,” she bluffed.
She acknowledged the teachers for their commitment to the school.
Highlighting other challenges that the school is faced with, Tham revealed that the school playing ground is far from the school premises, noting that vehicles use the frontage which is very dangerous for the kids.
She urged the authorities concerned to place speed bumps to protect the kids. She also urged the authorities concerned to help with clean drinking water or bole hole, for there is no water facility in the school. She also called on the security sector to provide security for the school, for according to her, thieves break into the school in recent times and made away with the school furniture.
In all of the above-mentioned challenges that the school is faced with, Preacher man, Reverend James Samuel Macaulay, urged all present to trust in the Lord for the challenges that the school is faced with. Reverend Macaulay referenced a plethora of verses in the holy bible that teaches us to trust in God for our situations.