Saturday, February 13, 2010

The ups and the downs

Last week seemed to be overshadowed by the disaster in Magbeni but this week things are looking considerably more positive..... I have just got back from a trip visiting all the schools and although the roads were hard - once again we witnessed the remains of two fatal accidents - the news from all sites was good:

The Magbeni community has started pulling its communal socks up, making it possible for us to stay on and commit together to finding a way forward. Further discussions to be held in one month's time.

The Maronka building has the beginnings of a roof and the doors and furniture are ready and waiting.
Obai Santigie of Maronka with the new school furniture.
The Maronka building continues apace.
Obai with the new doors.

The Rolal building is well on its way and we have started the negotiations with the Ministry of Education officials. Previously, this has always been a very frustrating business but the initial encounters with this round looks very different as we are able to deal with Port Loko based officials who are lending a hand and a word of advice as to how to go about it most efficiently.
Rolal foundations and pillars in place.

In addition, and how this escaped me to this point I really do not know, I have just discovered that, not only did we come 5th in the country in the last WASSCE [the senior secondary public exams] but also that the highest scoring student was an EducAid student. I asked him why he had not told me and he said he, himself, only discovered much later that he had been on SLBS [Sierra Leone Broadcasting Service] on television and radio. A quiet and unassuming young man with a quirky sense of humour, Malikie Barrie is highly intelligent and now serves as a junior member of staff in Rolal, teaching science. He will start on the distance teacher training programme in a couple of weeks but is also applying for a scholarship to China to join Issa Fowai for engineering studies. We wish him all good luck with this endeavour.
Malikie Barrie, highest scoring WASSCE candidate in 2009.

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