By Augustine Sankoh, Strategic Communications Analyst MBSSE
The national second best performing pupil in the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) 2021 with an aggregate 7, Doris Ramatu Jah, has explained why she decided to turn down attending the school she sat for to attend the newly constructed Nyapui Senior Secondary School of Excellence (NSSSE) in Kenema.
The school was officially opened on Saturday 23rd October by President Julius Maada Bio.
“While taking the BECE, my school of choice was Saint Joseph Secondary School. I decided to change to NSSSE when I learned about the opening of the school in Kenema City. This is the best decision I have made because the learning environment is very good, the teachers are teaching us well and most importantly the school is science-focused and that is in line with my aspiration,” she said.
According to Doris, attending school in Kenema will help her to continue to be around her family and friends she used to know and this means a lot for her academic output, adding that she wants to bridge the gap that exists between female students and Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and Nyapui School of Excellence can help her and other girls to achieve that.
The School is part of the “Improvement of Educational Infrastructure and Quality Educational Services project”, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), through TERRA TECH. The project is implemented by SEND Sierra Leone in collaboration with Kenema District Council and the MBSSE.
The project contributes to addressing some of the challenges in the Education Sector in Sierra Leone. It improves and increases access to senior secondary school education through the MBSSE and increases teachers’ capacity to provide quality teaching services for all children.
The School was built to improve the quality of education for girls. The focus of the School is on science. There is no school of this kind in the Kenema District. The School is equipped with a computer laboratory to enhance IT skills to support quality education for girls.
The laboratory is for the daily teaching of the school girls. The School consists of 7 classrooms, 4 laboratories, a teachers’ common room, library, multipurpose hall, kitchen, store, hostel facility, school bus, and accommodation for the principal.
In addition, the School will be equipped with leisure facilities such as a school field, playgrounds for sports activities (to be completed in the third phase). Solar and water facilities are provided to ensure the effective operation of the School. Construction of the hostel is in progress and will accommodate 300 girls or more when completed. There is room for expansion. Laboratory equipment for practical education of the sciences is under procurement.
The Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education Dr. David Moinina Sengeh pointed out that Kenema produced both the Best Performer in the National Primary School Examination (NPSE) and the Second Best Performer in the BECE, noting that this is not by chance but because Kenema has chosen to embrace education.
He stressed the importance of quality education for girls, noting that if the women are taking along, the development of the country will be easy.
He thanked SEND Sierra Leone for partnering with the Ministry to roll out such a huge project and called on them to replicate a similar gesture to parts of the country.
“This will address the issue of rural-urban migration in the pursuit for the better learning environment and it will also reduce the burden on over-subscribed schools in the Western Area,” he said.
The Minister calls on parents and guidance to monitor the academics of their children, noting that quality education can be best assured with their positive contribution.
“This project contributes to the Government of Sierra Leone in its bid to promote science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education and in fulfillment of the Government Free Quality School Education (FQSE). Given that we are opening the School to promote the education of girls, equality can guarantee girls the opportunity to grow and pursue their dreams,” According to Joseph Ayamga Country Director of SEND Sierra Leone.