Research has shown that, more than 60% of pupils in Sierra Leone mostly in the slums and interior communities like Rokupa dropped-out of school before the end of their secondary education as a result of lack of community schools, teenage pregnancy, lack of parental or guardian monitoring among others.
Speaking to AYV about the challenges, Mr. Bangura said most of the children in the Rokupa Wharf community have dropped out of school and have engaged in risky and hard labor in order to survive.
The school environment according to Mr. Bangura is not conducive for the kids, adding that the school has not been approved by government which is why they are not getting any support from the government.
Mr. Bangura added that the school currently has ten staff and more than 200 pupils, citing that most of the teachers are yet to be placed under the government payroll.
“If we have heavy downpour of rain the school is flooded. We have applied for approval from the government but until now, we have not yet been approved,” he lamented.
He further said that the stationery the school has is not adequate for the number of pupils attending the school which parents subsidize by paying Le1,000 weekly.
Mr. Bangura went on to lament that Rokupa Wharf Community School is the only school they can boast of in the community and that some children fall into accident when trying to attend other schools when crossing roads.
According to Mr. Bangura the school is also serving as a town hall, and Community Police Post, adding that suspects sometimes make very loud noises distracting class sessions.
“The water-well we fetch sometimes gets contaminated with water flowing from the river and this could lead to disease,” Mr. Bangura said.
According to Aminata Koroma a resident of the community, some children get accident when attending other schools and trying to cross the street.
The community according to Aminata is also suffering from lack of community health center as pregnant women sometimes give birth on the road while trying to get to hospital, adding that some even die on the road as a result of distant health center.
“We have been receiving different promises from government, and politicians but they never fulfill their promises and we are fed and we do not feel like we are part of Sierra Leone,” she said. She maintained that the community also lacks toilet facilities as they dump their waste into the river and that it sometimes flows fall into their water wells during the rainy season.