When Fatima Abdul Majeed was transferred as a teacher to Gbulahagu AME Zion School at the beginning of the year, she thought she had left behind the problems of overcrowding and no furniture for the pupils which proved stout hurdles in the delivery of teaching and learning at her previous school. She will soon realise that her new school, even though located in more advanced rural Gbulahagu Community in the Tolon District faced similar but bigger challenges. The school is confronted with high enrollment which means its limited infrastructure and logistics are overwhelmed. Pupils especially those in the Kindergartens and lower primaries are forced to study sitting on the bare floor or lying flat on their bellies. For those in the upper primaries, the lack of furniture means sitting in fours rather than the more ideal sitting in twos.
As the challenges militated against academic activities in the school and with help taking eternity to arrive from local government authorities, Ms. Fatima, a prolific poetess who is known by stage name Gifted Tima, knew she had to look elsewhere for help. She took to her social media pages and made an appeal with the hope that benevolent individuals, groups and organisations will respond. In less than a month, the Progressive Welfare Foundation, a UK – based charity responded as they reach out to her with a pledge make a first trench donation of 50 fifty dual desks.
Just yesterday, a delegation led by founder of Charity, Dr Awal Fuseini, visited the school to handover their intervention which is expected to provide sitting space for over one hundred students. Dr Awal told a group of reporters who followed on him on the journey that his gesture was motivated by the fact that he too was born, bred and had elementary education here in the north and so knew on firsthand the challenges confronting many of the schools. He said education remains a right for every child and that PWF was committed to enhancing quality by eradicating with bottlenecks associated with education delivery. Assistant Headmaster, Abdallah Mbelayim Mohammed was grateful to the organization as he assured the school will take good care of the furniture to ensure they last long for upcoming generations to benefit. He also appealed to other organization to emulate the gesture of the Progressive Welfare Foundation.
Like the proverbial Oliver Twist, Gifted Tima, in a speech to show gratitude to her benefactors asked for more. She appealed for for a well resourced computer laboratory and the construction of classrooms for the school, saying it will help reduce overcrowding and ease the difficulty involved in teaching and learning. She disclosed that the lack of classrooms has forced authorities to merge the classes, a situation that has proved discomforting as the number of children a teacher should be dealing with in a class has more than tripled.
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