Yangatoke community demanded for improved school structure and succeeded through SABI

Kankalay Primary School Pupils now Safe

The Kankalay Primary School in Yangatoke Community, Imperri Chiefdom, ward 324, Bonthe District, had faced an unsafe challenge for more than two years. The school which generally host about two hundred pupils, is located in a bushy environment, with an improper structure and inadequate sitting accommodation. This exposes pupils to sunlight, rain and occasional incidents of snake runs around the campus.  School authorities started using the local court building as an alternative to continue teaching, but frequent court sittings disrupted the smooth running of the school. This also, led to a reduction in school attendance.

With increased concern raised about the safety of children in school, parents insisted that the issue of the school be included in their community action plan. The Youth Accountability Volunteers together with RADA Field Officers facilitated the development of a workable action plan, using the SABI accountable governance pathways to demand for better education services. Through it all, the community worked with their Councilor, Head Teacher and Town Chief to map out next steps in solving the problem.

Using their action plan, the stakeholders of Yangatoke Community engaged the District Council, and District Education Authorities to discuss the problem. The District Council approved the action plan and attached it to their development plans awaiting funding. The District Education office sent in school supervisors to examine the situation and agreed to mobilise support for the school.

However, the people of Yangatoke Community needed urgent action to improve the environment of learning for their children. They eventually approached Sierra Rutile, a mining company in the area, which has a cooperate social responsibility to support the community. They succeeded in convincing the company using their action plan as evidence for support needed.

The people demanded that the company uses the annual surface rent paid to the Chiefdom, to support the school. The company responded positively. They also sent in a team to assess the situation and later agreed to erect a three-classroom school building.

Kankalay Primary School Pupils now Safe

Part of our mandate is to honour the demands of the community people. They brought to us this action plan that made clear the kind of support the required from us. This is an organised way of demanding for resources – Sulaiman Mbaba Kanneh, Councillor.

The councillor and head teacher informed district authorities of progress made so far, and they also agreed to monitor the project, and provide school materials afterwards.

With this experience, the people of Yangatoke Community now demonstrate increased demand for improved services by developing new action plans and using the accountable governance pathways to approach stakeholders to obtain support.