Ministry intervenes in Sinchu Wurry school saga

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By Olimatou Coker

The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education has finally intervened in the long-running standoff between the headmaster of Sinchu Wurry Lower Basic School- Karamo Jabang and Musa Camara, the sponsor of the school.
Sinchu Wurry is a settlement situated between Kachumeh and Nyofelleh – Kombo South district, West Coast Region.
The decision to close the school was taken in July, during a meeting held at the office of the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education.
However, the community has been informed that an arrangement has been made to move students to other schools of their choice in nearby communities until a new school is constructed for the community.
A document The Standard has been privy to reveals that the school was acquired by Musa Camara through his NGO in 2014, at a sum of 1000 Euros from the said community.
The original idea was for government to provide teachers and learning materials, while Mr Camara through his NGO, embarks on infrastructural works at the school.
Isatou Camara, a mother of 3, said some of her children were attending the school, which she said has brought tremendous development to the area, as manifested in the pupils’ population. She appealed for immediate solution.
Many parents who spoke to this paper called on the Ministry to revisit their decision by engaging both parties into negotiation.
Lamin Touray, former deputy headmaster of the school, described the situation as rather unfortunate. He said the sponsors and the school authorities should have worked hand-in-glove to ensure quality education and a conducive atmosphere at the school.
Saineyba Saho, acting deputy headmaster of the school, said currently over 700 pupils are enrolled, attending classes from grades 1 to 5 with 2- Early Child Development (ECD) classes.
He said of the closure of the school: “It was a sad moment for the people of the community and given its location in the area, accessing education in the nearby village might be difficult. In fact, some parents are now considering the option of withdrawing their children especially those attending our ECD classes.”
Responding to interference claims made by the school headmaster, Musa Camara said he made it clear to the school authorities that they are interested in quality education and not quantity.
“We told them that 57 students per class is too much. We feel that good quality education can be achieved with fewer students per class. This would also help the teachers attend to each student as required. The headmaster also calls it inference, writing the names of our donors on the walls and acknowledging their support as well as some of their vision and mission.
“I dont think this is interference as I have never gone against the national curriculum, because I was once a teacher. We also created our own office as sponsors at the school and when we normally come to the school we go to our office without interrupting any of the school’s lessons,” he stated.
Meanwhile, the alkalo of the village alongside the council of elders, has written to the Regional Education Directorate at Region Two, appealing for a dialogue.