Running small junior secondary schools in rural Port Loko District, these men have a tough task. One aspect that makes it particularly challenging is the lack of trained and qualified teachers available to teach in these schools. Many principals are nevertheless loath to let their underlings develop lest they threaten their position and authority. It is a great shame but happens frequently. We have sought to undermine this possibility by involving the communities who are the only people in a position to hold them to account. In reality, those that attended were very enthusiastic about the programme and were thirsty for the support EducAid will offer. Some did not make it however, and we know they will be a blockage to any further development there unless the communities are strong and willing to take up the fight.
The needs are great: at present, students trying to gain an education in rural Sierra Leone are really in trouble: approximately 40% of teachers are trained and qualified and while many of them are doing their best but that is simply not enough. Approximately 40% of students sitting the junior secondary exams, BECE, pass them.
By being very practical in our support, we hope to have a very quick impact on these horrible statistics, at least in the schools where we are invited to work.
If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young Sierra Leoneans, please go to www.educaid.org.uk and www.sierraleonegirls.blogspot.com