Bonthe District Council (BonDC), under the European Union (EU) funded project, has trained 100 untrained and unqualified primary school teachers in the district on the content and use of Lessons Plan Manuals (LPM) in Mathematics and English Language.

The training is aimed at improving their delivery of lessons and the assessment of performance of pupils.

The EU, in October 2016, under its project titled: “Achieving universal primary education by strengthening education system management in Bonthe District”, provided a sum of five hundred and ninety-four thousand, two hundred and nineteen Euro (€594, 219).

The total cost of the project was six hundred and sixty thousand, two hundred and forty-four Euro (€660,244), with Bonthe District Council making an input of sixty-six thousand and twenty-five Euro (€66, 025) from internally generated revenue, representing 90 percent and 10 percent inputs, respectively.

The project was launched on Tuesday January 24, 2017, in the Bonthe District Council Hall.

At a steering committee meeting, marking the end of the EU funded project in Bonthe District on April 3, 2019, in the conference hall of BonDC, Acting Project Coordinator Patrick Mohamed Kallon said the project comprises four outcomes.

“Firstly, to develop responsive, participatory and accountable systems of educational governance and management.

Secondly, to increase in the quality of teaching, learning and transition of children into secondary school. Thirdly, increase enrolment and retention of children of school going age, particularly girls and finally, to improve basic education services delivery by strengthening the capacity and commitment of BonDC, District Education Office, civil society organizations (CSOs) and stakeholders in the district,” he said.

He disclosed that they did an uninterrupted assessment and presentation of EU awards.

“We contracted senior lecturers from Freetown Teachers College, Distances Education Unit in Mattru Jong to train 50 head teachers and teachers on continuous assessment methodology. We also trained 150 mothers’ club members on mentoring, guidance counselling and some aspects of the three Gender Acts and the Sexual Offences Act,” he explained, adding that the EU project provided income generating activities support to 11 mothers’ club.

He said 350 young people in schools and communities were trained as peer educators on sexual reproductive health.
He noted that the rehabilitation of Centennial Secondary School in Mattru Jong, was a key component of the EU funded project, disclosing that the boarding home comprising two apartment dormitories, dining hall, kitchen and Chapel, were rehabilitated.

According to him, BonDC in collaboration with the District Education Office, identified three worst government supported primary schools with permanent structure, adding that the schools were District Education Committee (DEC) Primary School in Mannian, United Brethren Church (UBC) in Gendema and Roman Catholic (RC) in Kaleh.
He said water and sanitation (WASH) facilities, which include eight VIP latrines and four hand-dug wells, were provided for the above mentioned schools.

He disclosed that 150 school health club members have been trained on promotion of sanitation and hygiene behavioral change among school going pupils.

“The project provided incentive packages, uniform and learning materials for 230 pupils to enroll in grade one over the three years’ period,” he said.

Chief Administrator of BonDC, Bintu A. Vangahun said since the inception of the EU funded project, they have been holding quarterly steering committee meeting, and the one they held on April 3, 2019, marked the end of the project.
“This project was successful because of members of the steering committee. I want to inform you all that the project will fold up onApril 6, 2019. The relationship we have established during the implementation of this project should continue. I implore you all to continue to support the council,” she said.

BonDC’s Civil Works Engineer, Christopher M. Saffa, said during the project, they rehabilitated facilities at Centennial Secondary School, three primary schools in Mannian, Gendema and Kaleh, adding that they provided WASH facilities in some communities as well.

“We also provided hand-dug-wells, VIP latrines in schools which are benefiting the communities as well. This project brought lot of benefits to schools and communities,” he said.

Chairman of the final steering committee meeting, who doubles as Principal of Centennial Secondary School in Mattru Jong, Sulaiman Sengeh, said he was grateful to BonDC and the EU for rehabilitating the dormitories, dining, chapel, in his school.
He recalled that during the implementation process, the steering committee was doing monitoring and planning of the project, adding that he was delighted with the project’s achievements.

Acting EU-Project Coordinator, Patrick Mohamed Kallon at tone of the newly rehabilitated dorms at Centennial Secondary School.

The structures of Centennial Secondary School rehabilitated under the EU-funded project