Freetown, SIERRA LEONE – Every morning, the students of Tambaka face a unique challenge on their journey to education, as they paddle a canoe boat to attend the O.S. Yansaneh Secondary School in Sella village. This unconventional commute has become the norm for 4 to 5 pupils from Tambaka who sail through the river to reach their school, showcasing their commitment to seeking secondary education.
Despite the river’s varying conditions, the students persist in rowing their local canoe, determined not to miss their daily class lessons. Kamara, a stakeholder, shared the students’ dedication, emphasizing that the river’s volume and fluctuations do not deter them from their educational pursuits.
According to Mr. Ibrahim A.B Kamara, a stakeholder in Dandaya village near Tambaka in Karene District, there is no school in Tambaka village. Due to this, parents and stakeholders send their children to Sella Village. Kamara noted the inadequate operation of the Kabbah Ferry and limited school structures within the Chiefdom.
Mesheck Kamara, a teacher from a Tambaka town village, highlighted that only three headteachers—Mr. Sorie Conteh, John Turay, and Mustapha Kamara—are available in the school, which has recently received approval from the government of Sierra Leone. However, the school requires rehabilitation, as only the community presently manages it, with half of the structure having collapsed.
While the school boasts a decent toilet facility, it lacks furniture to improve sitting standards and accommodation for pupils. Additionally, only one teacher is on the payroll, while the remaining two teachers are without a pin code, rendering them unpaid. This financial strain on teachers and the challenges faced by students pose a serious threat to the quality of education in the district, as some educators express their concerns about the impact on students’ academic performance.
Similar situations are reported in schools in Bonthe District, located in the southern region of Sierra Leone, highlighting the broader challenges faced by students pursuing education in various parts of the country. AJ/1/2/2024