Barmoi Luma school is doing well, but is damaged again

Project update van 19 februari 2020 door Edward Bailor en Romana Bremer

PorchWrecked ceilingClassroom block build by WS team SL114Broken windowWrecked ceilingBack side of first classroomClassroomEdward and Samuel in discussion with propriatorBack of the schoolOther classroomSchool siteTeacher in classroomEntrance

With support from Holland, the ceilings in two classrooms were fixed, after they were broken, and some parts of the floor were levelled again. This was very helpful for the school, but then came a vaccination program at the school...

During the meeting with the community they expressed that they are very happy with the school building. It took a while for the community to accept the school but in the end people started sending their children to the school.
The school is not being used according to the original plan. The intention was to use it for a primary school but it is currently used both as a primary school and as a junior high school. For this purpose, the office and the staff room are in use as a classroom too. In addition to the school structure built by WS, a mudbrick building is in use. Next to the school, the proprietress (owner of the land and the school) started another building (which is not finished yet).

There are 461 children in the primary school and 294 pupils in JSS (Junior Secondary School). This is huge increase of children compared to when the school started, and gives a lot of children the opportunity to go to school. However, this also affects the quality of the lessons, as the classrooms are very occupied. Luckily, the number of teaching staff has increased over time, so there are more teachers available to teach the children, but the challenge remains with the lack of sufficient classrooms for a full primary school (minimum of 6 required). At the moment there are 9 teachers for the Primary School and 7 for the JSS. The passrate (percentage of children that complete their exam and are allowed to go to high school) is very high (95%), which indicates the performance of the children in this school.

The community also explained why the building was broken again in some parts (see photos). During an organized vaccination program for polio by the World Health Organisation (WHO), the local population thought that they wanted to infect their children with Ebola. This ultimately led to riots at the school site causing a lot of damage to the school building - i.e. broken window, damaged ceiling. This is very unfortunate for the school and there is no solution found yet for this damage to be fixed.

During the meeting the community thought back to the time the team was there, and they said they enjoyed working together with the team in 2014. It is well remembered that the team did everything together. The school proprietress remembers that she even started building herself, to join the team. Also, it is mentioned that during the project the Netherlands suffered a severe incident (MH17) which had a huge effect on everybody, including the community.

The gain of the project was the acceptance of the school, and the quality of the school building. Children that previously were taken from school by their parents and sent to other schools, later returned. Now the school is an approved school and doing very well. It is on top of the result lists of schools, which makes the proprietress proud. The community involvement is good. The school invites parents to meetings to further education and the community responds to requests for help. Also parents assist in the school feeding program (since the school is a government approved school, the government provides food for a certain number of children).

The community also expressed that they expected more from World Servants, as they understood in first instance that more support would come in the form of another classroom block and teachers houses. This has been a challenge for CTF to manage this in a good way. Sometimes the message shared is not understood well, or the communication was not clear enough in first instance. But despite the fact that the community is reminding CTF and World Servants for more support as was understood by them, they also are able to manage the school in such a way that the quality of education is increased, and that the community/parents are committed to this school and help this school to be a positive and good education centre for the children in the community.