REPORT OF HANDING OVER OF SCHOOL DONATIONS IN BANGEM BY BACDA-USA 14, FEB 2012.
The schools concerned with this handing over ceremony were GSS Muabi, GSS Ekanjo-Bajoh and GSS Bermin. Due to communication difficulties, the principal of GSS Bermin did not get the information on time as such, was not present at the ceremony.
The Bangem municipal grandstand hosted the event. GSS Muabi was heavily mobilized – students, teachers, PTA Exco and the principal were present. GSS Ekanjoh was represented by their principal. The Divisional Delegate of Education for Kupe Muanenguba was also represented. Some curious on –lookers also came around to grace the occasion. Materials to be handed were conspicuously displayed. This also attracted a handful of people. The principal of GSS Muabi Mr. Njabe Cletus Etube was the master of ceremony.
After the singing of the national anthem by the students of GSS Muabi, Mr Njabe led the opening prayers. After the opening prayers, the floor was handed to Mr Etube Ndiang Fidelis- BACDA USA representative and main organizer of the event.
We welcome and thanked those present for taking off time to witness the occasion. We told the audience that some Bakossi elites residing in the USA have regrouped themselves under the Bakossi Cultural and Development Association BACDA-USA. Some of the objectives of this association are to promote the Bakossi culture in the USA, to assist one another in time of need and to improve on the living conditions of their people back home in the Bakossi land. In this wise, BACDA USA organizes Health campaign, sponsor some development projects and encourages education of the Bakossi child, the reason for this event. We recalled that some time ago, the president of BACDA USA Mr Joseph Ngalle and the chairperson of the education committee Mr Ernest Ebwelle requested us to assist BACDA USA in the realization of this project. We answered to the call without hesitation. Some criteria were laid down and following the envelop available, five schools were selected to benefit from this years’ grant, namely GBSS Buba and Etam in Tombel sub division, GSS Muabi and Ekanjoh Bajoh in Bangem sub division and GSS Bermin in Nguti sub division. The initial deal was to supply benches to these schools. However, after some brain storming, it was agreed that the schools should express their needs. That is how we came up with materials displayed here today. GSS Muabi requested for Cement, GSS Ekanjoh for roofing sheets and Bermin requested for a generator and computers (which drew the attention of everybody).
We cautioned the beneficiaries to make very good use of the materials they were about to receive. We reminded them that our brothers/sisters in America were making a sacrifice out of their very hard earned money to come to their assistance. It is a gesture from the heart and as such should be jealously preserved.
We told the students present that the donations were to improve on their learning conditions. We advised them to study hard to come out with good grades so as to merit the confidence of their brothers/sisters in USA. We used this opportunity to inform them that BACDA USA was offering scholarships to outstanding students at GCE.
Talking now to the representative of the divisional delegate of secondary education, we said that efforts of BACDA USA will be in vain if these schools do not have teachers. We then challenged the divisional delegate and the entire secondary education hierarchy to send teachers to schools in the Bakossi land. At this point, the students of GSS Muabi sang a welcome song in honour of BACDA USA. The song was so thrilling that it drew a cloud of applause. Many people present were forced to get up and threw some bank notes at them.
The principal of Ekanjoh Bajoh – Mr Agbortoko Gregory Echu came up on behalf of the principals to thank BACDA USA for their kind and wonderful gesture. That when he was contacted some time last year by Mr Etube Ndiang, he thought it was a joke. But today, the joke has become a reality. Mr Agbortoko promised that they will make very good use of these materials. Coming up on the 14 of February, BACDA USA will remain their special Valentine he concluded.
The next speaker was Colonel Chief Ngwese Michael, PTA president of GSS Muabi. Chief Ngwese could not express his joy in words for the relief the donation of BACDA USA has brought to GSS Muabi. Speaking on behalf of the parents of all the schools, he prayed that the Almighty God bless members of BACDA USA abundantly, meeting each and everyone of them at the point of their need. The chief ended by saying that they will ever be proud for having children in America.
The last but not the least speaker was Mr Mesumbe Michael, representing the divisional delegate of secondary education, who was attending a meeting at the Regional Headquarters. Mr Mesumbe told the audience that it was not the first time he was a witness of this type of event organized by BACDA USA. He quoted the cases where computer equipments were donated to GBHS Bangem and Tombel. On behalf of the entire Ministry of Secondary Education, he was very thankful to BACDA USA for their gesture. He ended with the promise that he will channel the request for teachers to the quarters that be.
We then conducted the symbolic handing over of the materials. GSS Muabi received ninety (90) bags of Cement, Ekanjoh Bajoh; one hundred and fifteen (115) sheets of zinc, two meters long and GSS Bermin received a very powerful generator, a complete set of computers, printer/ copier combo sent directly from America – courtesy of Education Committee Chair Mr Ernest Ebwelle. The PTA president of GSS Muabi offered a drink to all officials who were present.
We received two thousand dollars ($2000.00) for GSS Muabi and Ekanjoh Bajoh. We had to wait for the equipment of GSS Bermin from America before buying the materials for Muabi and Ekanjoh since it was agreed that only one handing over ceremony be organized for the three schools in Bangem. The dollar value had dropped to 480 frs per dollar, hence the $ 2000.00 gave us Nine hundred and sixty thousand (960,000 frs). A bag of cement in Bangem cost between 5700 – 6000 frs and a sheet of zinc between 4700- 4900 frs. We decided to go to Melong for the Materials. Here, a bag of cement is 4800 FRS + 500 FRS for transportation. This brings it to 5300 frs. A sheet of zinc is 3900 FRS + 200 FRS transportation equals to 4100 frs. This is why we succeeded to have 90 bags of cement for Muabi and 115 sheets of zinc for Ekanjoh. It should be noted that some wood was bought to support the zinc. This exercise was carried out with the help of Chief Ngwese Sume Michael.
The three schools we just donated to still face unique problems of infrastructure, teachers and equipment, with very low enrollments.
GSS Muabi has an enrollment of one hundred (100) students. It is a form three school. The government has so far built two classrooms and the Parents two. They have only three gov’t paid teachers with none in the science subject. The donation the school just received will only enable them buld an office which they will need badly by 2015 if they are to be a GCE center. A generator and computers are urgent necessities since Computer has become a subject at the O/L GCE.
GSS Ekanjoh-Bajoh has an enrollment of eighty eight (88) students, a form three school with only two gov’t paid teachers. Gov’t has built just two classrooms and the zinc just received will enable them to roof the classroom just constructed by the Parents. These classrooms however will still need to be floored, plastered, put doors and windows etc. The school has a generator but no computers.
GSS Bermin has send out about two batches of students at the O/L GCE but the enrollment of the school is just thirty (30) students. There is an inter-village conflict around the area so most neighboring villages do not send their children there. The school has enough structures, though in temporal materials provided by the Parents. The gov’t will be building the first two classrooms this year. GSS Bermin has only two gov’t paid teachers.
Dear brothers and sisters, we are trying to high light all the problems to make you understand that our children back home are suffering. Even a widow’s might will be of great help to them. We have students in secondary schools in the Bakossi land who have never seen a computer. Yes, it is a reality. Many thanks for your kind gesture.
Report presented by BACDA-USA Cameroon Representative Mr. Etube Ndiang Fidelis.