Kerr Biram LBS: A school without roof

Kerr Biram LBS: A school without roof

By Cherno Omar Bobb

Education it is said is the key to success. However, Kerr Biram Lower Basic School in Upper Badibu District, North Bank Region, had part of its classrooms roof blown away by a windstorm some 3 years ago and since then no effort has been made by authorities to fix it, hence children are forced to sit in a roofless classroom in the sun every day of the week to learn.

The other part of the roof that is still hanging is also a danger to the pupils. The children are forced to abandon learning and run home whenever it is raining, as they are unable to sit under the rain and learn.

The classroom blackboard, desks, chairs, books and other school materials are on the verge of being destroyed.

The disaster affected  not only the classrooms but also the school principal’s office roof, which was entirely blown away leaving him with no choice but to sit and carry out his work under a mango tree for the past 3 years.

The school teachers staff quarter was also not spared as its roof was also blown away forcing the teachers to seek shelter within the village.

The school’s management committee chairman told Mamos media that they together with their principal have engaged both regional education and local government authorities several time but they have continued to give them empty promises.

Mbackeh Secka, the school’s management committee chairman, said schools have opened since Monday but their children do not have classrooms to sit and learn.

“Our children cannot walk over 8 kilometers to and from Illiasa daily to attend school,” he lamented, saying: “Some years ago 8 of our children from school died in a road accident, which was why government built the school for us.”

He thus appealed: “We are therefore appealing to government to address the situation and ensure our children continue to attend school in the village.”

He said that in previous years, whenever it rained they would have to find means to remove the stagnant water from the classrooms for students to be able to use it, to prevent them from having skin infections and other diseases from having contact with  the contaminated water.

He further explained that the school even struggles to have access to its school feeding programme supply, more so as foods and other items are usually offloaded at the main highway because the community is hard to reach.

“Usually when they offload the suppy at the main highway, I use my horse cart to bring it into the village; otherwise the students will not eat,” he said.

Omar Secka, Alkalo of Kerr Biram, explained that regional education officers from Kerewan administrative region and their Councillor Samba Njie had visited the school several times but no step had been taken to address the situation.

He appealed to government to help them remedy the situation to ensure children continue their education in an environment conducive for learning.

Yusupha Secka, a Quranic teacher at the school, said: “When it is raining, the teachers abandon their houses and seek for shelder within the community. Most of their belongings have been distroyed. Their challenges are enormous. I am currently hosting two teachers.”  

The school is also without water, he added, calling on the education authorities and the Governemt of The Gambia to take steps to end their nightmare.  


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