2 Million Worth Scholarship Given to 30 Schools
[one_third][/one_third]With financial support from UK Charity Tusk Trust, The Environment and Rural Development Foundation (ERuDeF) has given out some 2 million worth scholarship in the form of text books, exercise books, school materials and school fees to some 30 primary schools across the Lebialem Division. The text books comprised books of all subjects including mathematics, English language, French, Geography etc. currently being used in the Cameroon syllabus. The donation is part of ERuDeF’s School Environmental Fund which promotes education in forest adjacent communities.
The highly colourful ceremonies organized by ERuDeF’s Education for Sustainable Development team took place from October 15-17 in the campus of three schools, bringing together 30 primary schools.
The first event took place at Government Schoool(GS) Essoh-Attah bringing together parents, pupils and teachers from 8 schools.
[one_third][/caption][/one_third]ERuDeF’s Manager for Education, Akeh Nug in her address explained that the goal behind supporting education of children in Essoh-Attah is instilling hope in the young people and making them believe that with proper formal education, they can grow up to be responsible citizens rather than resorting to the forest as hunters as trappers. “We have given books of general education because we know that with proper education, these young leaders will make proper decisions on protecting the rich forests they live adjacent to”.
Reacting to the scholarship, the Head Mistress for G.S Nzanchen, Azia Barbara said she was very happy because the donation comes at a time it was most needed ” When I heard my school had been selected as one of the schools to receive a scholarship from ERuDeF, I thought it was a joke. I feel very pleased because the donation comes at the right time. The school year just began and our library is empty. With the textbooks donated learning will be facilitated as teachers will be able to do research before teaching”
She also said that the exercise books and other educational materials given to her students will be an extra booster that will improve on their performance.
Also reacting to the donation, the Head Master for G.S Njentse-Essoh-Attah, Atabong Simon said ” I am very happy and I wish that these books will promote the protection of the environment. The scholarship will promote the students to study and aspire to become role models in the future rather than resort to nature for livelihood thereby destroying the forest. The uniforms will also permit the students to look clean as they come to school unlike before whenthey used to wear tattered clothes because their parents could not afford clean ones.
Tayim John, a father of one of the school pupils who received the scholarship could hardly hide his joy in his words “This gesture has instilled a lot of hope in us. I am a poor farmer with very little to feed my family. I was wondering how I would sponsor my child this year. But I am happy today that ERuDeF has uplifted that load from my shoulder by providing educational materials and also paying my son’s fee”
Another parent, Aletanu Raphera said she feels relieved this year as a single parent. ‘I was married before, but last year when I suffered from an accident, I lost my hands and my husband abandoned me with four kids to take care on my own. Today, one of my children has been taken care of and this gives me great joy”. She used the opportunity to urge members of her community-Nzanchen-Essoh-Attah to adhere to environmentally friendly activities and support ERuDeF in the gazettment of the proposed Mak-Betchou Wildlife Sanctuary.
A Class six pupil of G.S Essoh-Attah, Leke Irene who aspires to become a medical doctor said the scholarship gives her more reasons to work hard and become a better person in society. “I started school in September with no books, today I have received not just books but uniform, pens, rulers, pencils and my school fees has been paid. This motivates me to work hard and be a better person tomorrow”
The Head Teacher GS Essoh-Attah Ngulefac Cyprian lauded the initiative saying the donation comes at a time when the children needs it most. He thanked the Board and management of ERuDeF for lending a hand to schools in Essoh-Attah. “Aside from the protection of the environment ERuDeF has gone a long way to support the education of children. I wish this endeavour continues. The school does not have a library, so these books will help teachers to prepare and students to do homework. The payment of PTA development fees has been a very big problem for most pupils who are often driven from classes. Paying the fees will therefore help a great deal”
In Alou Sub-division, the book donation was received with lots of euphoria. Atem Romanus, Head Teacher of GS Atsombie in Alou Sub division said the donation is timely “The government has not provided us with the minimum package it used to provide at the beginning of the school year so these books will help facilitate the teaching-learning process. Ngemasong Ernest of GS Apang said the gesture is laudable because the libraries of most schools in rural areas are poorly equipped.
In Wabane Sub division, the reaction was the same, pupils, teachers and parents of schools in the subdivision turned out in their numbers at GS Bechati to receive books for their libraries.
By Regina Fonjia Leke