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Bansang Educational Appeal donates to schools

Jun 8, 2011, 3:29 PM | Article By: Abdourahman Sallah in CRR

Bansang Educational Appeal, a foundation operating in Region 5, recently donated learning and teaching materials to schools in Central River Region at a ceremony held at Bansang Senior Secondary School.

The donated items worth over D1.3 million included furniture, stationery, computers, printers, televisions, home science equipment, sport equipment, uniforms, clothes and trays.

Nine schools benefited from the donated items, namely Bansang Lower Basic School, Bansang Upper Basic School, Daru Lower Basic School, Chargel Lower Basic School, Sololo Lower Basic School, Mabali Lower Basic School, Agape Nursery School, Njoren Lower Basic School and Bansang Senior Secondary School.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Ismaila Ceesay, principal of Bansang Senior Secondary School, who is also the initiator of the foundation, said the foundation was established in 2008 through the support of Dr Annabel Kerr, a volunteer at Bansang Hospital.

According to Mr Ceesay, the ultimate objective of the foundation is to provide teaching and learning materials for the schools to complement government’s efforts in achieving quality education for all, as enshrined in the MDGs and Vision 2020.

He said Bansang Education Appeal (BEA) has been very supportive of schools within Bansang cluster, in terms of school sponsorship, provision of school bags, shoes, uniforms and even school lunch for children.

He revealed that this year the BEA foundation has paid over D200,000 on school fees and other expenditure for hundreds of students in different schools. “The government through the MOBSE has provided an environment conducive for effective teaching and learning in ensuring relevant and quality education for all,” he said.

He disclosed that the foundation has also opened an IT centre for Bansang Senior Secondary School but due to lack of electricity in the school, the centre has been moved to Bansang town.

All the requisite apparatus needed for internet facility are in place to open an internet café for income generation but they are still looking for a place, he says, while urging the schools that received  the donated items to use them properly.

For his part, Alieu Baldeh, coordinator of the foundation, said the BEA is not individualised, hence it is the responsibility of all – students, teachers, head teachers, caretakers and even school vendors - to ensure the materials are safeguarded and used prudently.

The BEA sponsorship is based on academic performance, Mr Baldeh said, calling on all the sponsored students to double up their efforts to ensure continuity of the sponsorship. He commended Dr Kerr and her counterparts in the UK for the laudable gesture.

Kebba Kora, member of the school board, who also doubles as the alkalo of Bansang town, underscored the significance of education, saying the government through the MoBSE provides schools, employs teachers and provides relevant materials for effective learning and teaching, thus making quality education accessible, relevant and affordable to all.

He commended Mr Ceesay for his foresight in facilitating the provision of support for school children in the area.

Kajally Janneh, a cluster monitor, said the government has done its part by providing schools and employing teachers to teach in schools. “Parents have sent their children to school to learn and it is the responsibility of the children to read,” he added.

Pastor Paul T. Mendy said a gift cannot be a gift until there is a receiver, adding that a giver always expects the receiver to take care of the materials to ensure it serves its purpose.

The materials distributed, especially the furniture, were meant not for homes but for the schools. He urged the councillors and the student body to be more vigilant in ensuring that the furniture and other school materials stay put in their various schools and for the right purpose.

Jabou Kongira, headmistress of Daru Lower Basic School, speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, commended the BEA foundation through Mr Ismaila Ceesay, who is representing the foundation on the ground, for the unflinching support they are rendering to the schools since its inception three years ago.

According to her, the foundation has been very supportive in terms of provision of furniture, teaching and learning materials and for sponsoring deserving students.

She assured the gathering that the materials, particularly the furniture, donated to the schools would be handled with care to better serve its purpose.

The ceremony was chaired by the principal of Bansang Upper Basic School, Yahya Faal.

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