Ministry intervenes in Sinchu Wurry School saga

Wednesday, August 01, 2018

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 growing settlement situated between Kachumeh and Nyofelleh in the Kombo South district, West Coast Region. The decision to close the school was taken on July 27, in a meeting held at the office of the Permanent Secretary at MOBSE with Musa Camara’s attorney.

However, the community has been informed that an arrangement has been made to move students to the schools of their choice in nearby communities until a new school is constructed for the community.

A document The Point 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 he, as sponsor through his NGO, did the infrastructural works at the school. 

In a recent interview with The Standard, Isatou Camara, a mother of 3, expressed shock with the latest development, saying three of her children are attending the said school. She acknowledged that the coming of the school has brought tremendous development to the area, as manifested in the pupils’ population.

With this development, she like other parents, are considering the option of withdrawing their children from school given the fact that the nearby communities with education facilities are far away.

Many parents who spoke to this paper called on the Ministry to revisit their decision by engaging both parties on the negotiation table in a bid to restore the conflicts between the sponsors and the headmaster.

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 at the school.

Saineyba Saho, acting deputy headmaster at the said school, has currently enrolled over 700 pupils, attending classes from grades 1 to 5 with 2- Early Child Development (ECD) classes.

“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 a difficult decision for some parents to allow their children. In fact, some parents are now considering the option of withdrawing their children especially those attending our ECD classes”.

The school, he said, has a total of 9 teachers and that these teachers have been told to move to other schools.

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 some of their vision and mission. I don’t think this is interference as I have never went 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 lessons.”

Meanwhile, the alkalo of Sinchu Wurry village alongside the council of elders have written to the Regional Education Directorate at Region Two, appealing for a dialogue so as to redress the issue with the said directorate.

Author: Sheriff Janko