By Sailu Bah
Classes resumed at Brikama Methodist Upper Basic and Senior Secondary School and Longmans Lower Basic School after closure for a fortnight. The students were happy and the teachers were like busy bees.
The Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education stated that they closed the schools because they failed to teach Islamic religious knowledge. But an official in the school was quick to point out that the issue has nothing to do with religious conflict, but it is indeed a policy that should be implemented, and the school will go by the policy.
Marie Mendy, the head girl, said it has disturbed them a lot because they were supposed to start their school exams for the first term. She said they find it very difficult to recover all what they should learn, but they would still try and manage with their teachers. “I am very happy that the school has opened finally. I am also thanking the management of the school,” said the school head girl.
Richard Mendy, the head boy, said since the closure of the school they were unable to cover the required topics they should cover. “We are supposed to cover the required topics to stand a better chance for our exams,” he lamented, adding that he was happy when they told him that they will be resuming on Monday, that sitting at home will not solve their problems, adding they have limited time to cover their syllabus and so they need to work harder with their teachers.
He expressed the hope that this will be a lasting solution to these problems.
Vendors at the school expressed their happiness for the reopening of the school and expressed hope that such types of problems do not reoccur. They said it was very difficult for them to cope with the situation, because this is the place they earn their living to pay school fees and also take care of their personal needs and that of their families too.
Some of the parents said they were disturbed when they heard the unfortunate news last week that the school has closed. They said it affects their children because the kids now have limited time to cover the lost lessons which they said is not good for them.
Morlai R.K.Kamara, Principal of Brikama Methodist School revealed that the students cannot take their first term exams due to the closure of the school for two weeks which has caused a lot of delay in their preparations for the First term exams.
“The weeks that the school was closed was the time the school would have gone under revision and prepared for the first term exams, but as at now it is too late for the students,” explained Morlai Kamara, Principal, Brikama Methodist School.
Principal Kamara said the school would be closing on the 23rd December 2014, to ensure that they cover the entire syllabus for the first term. He also said that the mock exams for grades 9 and 12 students would be taken by the students in the first week of January because it should have been done within the two weeks of the closure of the school. He revealed that they will be closing school for the day by 3pm instead of 12:45pm to be able to catch-up with the syllabus. “We are here to serve the nation, whatever is a rule that we should follow, we will try and follow as far as the Education policy is concerned,” said Mr. Kamara.
It could be recalled that Methodist Upper and Senior Secondary School and as well as Longman Senior Secondary School were closed down for almost two weeks by the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education because the authorities said the schools had failed to provide the teaching of Islamic studies in their schools which closure has caused unnecessary delay in syllabus coverage. The situation is calm since the schools have reopened for classes on the 1st of December 2014.