The Dendewea Public School, located in Bacca town, lower Garwula district in Grand Cape County was constructed by the Liberian government many years ago to help provide some form of education to citizens in that area.
But the school is in a complete deplorable condition with some windows, doors and roof off. As a result of that, many of the classrooms have been taken over by either chickens and birds at night to sleep. Children in the area have no option but to walk several miles to attend a School constructed by Sime Darby. To avoid this long distance walking for their children, the citizens are appealing to Sime Darby to incorporate the Dendewea Public School.
The company is yet to comment on this. But an official from the company who spoke on condition of anonymity told this outlet that they will study it, but did not make any commitment.
The appeal was made last week by chiefs, youth and women in the place. They admitted that the Dendewea elementary school was built by the Liberian Government, but are appealing to SDPL for technical and financial support.
Already, the company has constructed school in the project affected communities (PACs). A modern junior high school in Sinii for the 17 affected communities. The citizens acknowledge it, they still need the intervention of the company so that their children can have access to easy learning.
They said their kids are unable to cross the Mafanta River in canoes and walk for nearly two hours before reaching the campus.
“This is serious. What if the canoe capsize with our children while crossing the river? This will be worse for us,” Abdulleh Sombai, a youth in the town told this paper.
Bacca and other nearby communities play host to the lone government school in the area and as such, they said it is the shortest distance for the kids and other school going children in the areas.
Abdulleh Sombai said due to the current state of the school, citizens and residents in the areas prefer sending their children to Matambo estate school, one of the schools operated by Sime Darby for schooling.
“I want Sime Darby to give 50% supports to the school. People who are sending their children to other better schools in the plantation said they are enjoying the benefits from the company. Children travelling from the other PACs to the main road is harmful,” he said.
When this paper contacted the ministry of Education on this, an official at the department of primary education said, they will look into the matter. The official said, it was not the intention of this government to deprive certain group of people education.
Sombai said many of the people in that area are employed by the company and will not leave their job to serve as security at day and night for the school.
“The first thing the guys will say is that they will not leave their company’s jobs to provide security for a school and their children are not going there. Most of them have left the town and living in the estate,” Sombai added.
Also speaking, the town chief of Bacca town, Boimah Golafale also appealed to the company to seek ways to help recondition the school.
“There is no security for the school and as such, almost all of the materials have been stolen by criminals. We need teachers who will teach the children to our satisfaction. Sime Darby must help us by elevating the school,” he appealed.
Madam Mariama Sombai, the women leader of the town, Mambu Sherriff, PACs chairman in the town, Alhaji Tombekai, the Imam of the Bacca’s Mosque are all appealing to the company for assistance in order to rescue the school.
The Dendewea Elementary School currently has over 300 students majority of whom are little kids according to the chairman of the Parents-Teachers Association (PTA) of the school, Ahaji Tombekai.
Bacca town is situated at the banks of the Lofa River and the Mafanta River in Lower Garwula district, Grand Cape Mount County. Citizens in the area survive on farming, fishing, and charcoal burning for living.