There are currently a number of schools that have links between our two dioceses. The aim is to develop links and relationships and embed them fully into the school curriculum. School links develop in different ways with shared projects that enhance learning and provide an awareness of being part of a global Church community. The already established links include:
- shared opportunities for prayer and assemblies
- regularly updated displays of progress and development
- professional dialogue between the respective staff of the linked schools
- curriculum opportunities that underpin global citizenship
- visits between school staff and students
- publicity to students about the possibility of a gap year placement in Bamenda
- fundraising for projects identified by schools in Bamenda
Schools that linked include:
1] Springhill Primary School, Southampton with St.Theresa's Azire, Mankon
2] St Swithun's Catholic Primary School, Southsea with St, Joseph's Catholic School, Mankon
3] St Finian's Catholic Primary School, Thatcham with St.Peter and Paul's Ndop
4] St John’s Cathedral Catholic Primary School, Portsmouth with Christ the King Catholic School, Mbengwi
5] St Peter's Catholic Primary School, Winchester with St. Jude Catholic School, Fundong
6] St Bernadette’s Catholic Primary School, Farnborough with St. John the Baptist Catholic School, Nkwen,
7] St Thomas Garnet Primary School, Bournemouth with Achama Up Catholic School, Mankon
8] Bishop Challoner Catholic School, Basingstoke with St Bede’s College, Ashing-Kom
9] St Edmund's Catholic School, Portsmouth with John Paul II Comprehensive College, Wum
10] All Hallows Catholic School, Farnham with St Paul’s College, Nkwen
BOOKS FOR BAMENDA
Photos of students in Bamenda, Cameroon who have received books from last year's fundraising in schools.
Meeting with Education Secretary for the Archdiocese, Fr John AmbeThe report from Fr John re 2011-2012 detailed Catholic school enrolment as:
21 Nursery schools: 1,598 pupils / 51 teachers
146 Primary schools: 26,180 pupils / 776 teachers
13 Colleges: 7,140 students (98% boarders) / 254 teachers
Bamenda Funds have now completed payments for the Education Secretariat pick-up. This vehicle also aids catechetical work. The Archbishop’s Education Fund (ABEF) which exists to support those children who cannot afford school fees received 2,250,000 cfas in March 11 from Bamenda Funds. [Total awarded from ABEF = 7,245,000 cfas – 966 children supported). The school projects we support are as follows: Ashong, Mekaf, Njinteh, Azire, Akum (St Pius), Akossia (Bambui), Bamunka (Ndop), St Martin’s (Wum), Achama Up (Widikum) Colleges: St Paul’s Nkwen, John Paul 11 (Wum). All Primary schools appeared to be lacking resources.
St Theresa’s Catholic Primary school AzireManager: Fr Engelbert Kofon; Head teacher: Mrs Yongabi Margaret
|2012 completed wall||2012 another section
827 pupils attend this inner city school. They used 2,100,000cfas of Bamenda funds in 2010 to complete a wall to create a boundary alongside the school and also replaced the leaking roof. However, there are 2 other sides of the school where the boundary wall has no foundations or the fence is potentially dangerous. They would like to replace them urgently. A progress report and a request for a further sum based on an estimate totalling 5,456,100cfas has been received. They say the local Parent-Teachers Association (PTA) are contributing 1,200,000 which leaves 4,256,100cfas outstanding (approx £5,500).
The school is also now twinned with Springhill RC Primary School Southampton They have the services of one of the Communication Commission staff who is offering to help them set up a school facebook page and an email account.
St Patrick’s Njinteh Bafut
This school was visited in 2010, when it had been supported
with £9000 of Bamenda Funds to build classrooms and install
‘shiny shutters’ to protect the children from the heavy rains.
St Martin de Porres, Wum
|Holes in classroom floor 2010||Steps in 2010|
|Classrooms improved 2012||External walls & steps renovated 2012|
This school in Wum is twinned with St Patrick’s Catholic Primary School (Portsmouth Diocese).
The Headteacher is Mr Smith Chia who is assisted by Sr Marceline Yula (from the convent in Wum).
Mekaf Primary School in Wum Deanery
This school was built with Bamenda Funds redirected / prioritised over St Martin de Porres Wum.
The local community contributed sand and bricks and 146 children are now attending.
Esu Schools - St Therese (212 pupils) & St Joseph’s
(191 pupils) 1:60 teacher: pupil ratio (Wum Deanery)We visited these 2 functioning primary schools. The second of these is not registered due to the previous lack of its own site. It now has a site and we visited the building of 4 classrooms for which they (ideally) wanted timber and zinc to roof the classes before the rainy season this year (2012). The construction of the Church building in Esu has been halted for years due to no funds. Fr Emmanuel is trying to construct these primary school classrooms under pressure from the parish community to be ‘getting on with something’ but they do not have Archdiocesan approval currently.
There is a request for a further building to house a school and church in Fungom. No application forms have yet been received for this. 50 children in the area receive ABEF. ‘O’ level students are being used as teachers to whom they can pay lower salaries.
John Paul II Secondary School Wum (JOPACC)
This impressive school has grown significantly in recent years with assistance from Bamenda Funds (total to date £11,000). There are 185 boarding pupils currently. The children are educated “for life” – learning to be self-sufficient – doing their own laundry & growing their food on a daily basis alongside their academic education. The first children will graduate in May 2012.
Toilet and shower blocks for male and female students in the boarding school completed.
Twinned with St Edmunds Catholic Secondary School (Portsmouth Diocese).
Fr Cyprian (pictured) is the current Principle (taking over from Fr Bernadine Nsom). Sr Maureen (from Wum convent) also works at the school.
Their needs were identified as: more beds, a domestic science lab and dress-making building, more gas cookers for the cookery classroom and school kitchen, basketball court and sports equipment and 5million cfas to complete and equip a science laboratory in order to be able to retain high school students who wish to study those subjects at ‘A’ level. They have Computers at the school but no internet connection as yet.
St Peter and St Paul Ndop
St Peter’s Primary School Ashong (within Batibo Parish)
This school was visited in 2012. It has been granted £2000 Bamenda Funds to date which have contributed towards the roof of the school. The community are proactive and new classrooms are required although no application for new funds has been received.
St Pius X Primary School Akum (previously with hearing impaired class)
Head teacher: Mr Kuhbi Peter Ntum
Significant improvements have been made to the look of the building with Bamenda Funds and the enrolment has since gone up from 107 to 180 children. A seminarian runs a computer class from a container for the older children. Requests for further help include: a good drainage system for the school, an enclosed playground and games / sports equipment.
The education for children with hearing impairments has now transferred to Morning Star school.
St Sylvester’s School (Akum -currently 110 pupils) has now transferred to its own building from the house in which the children were being educated.
Morning Star (education for children with hearing impairment)
The school has over 100 pupils. It is run by the Holy Rosary Sister Charity. Housed in a well resourced two story building, it is generously financed from various sources including the Irish Government. This school is doing good work to give hope to deaf and dumb children who come in daily from a wide area. Bamenda funds provided £1500 for toilets in the playground (above).
Treasure Centre, Mendankwe
(education and training for young people with learning difficulties)
St Francis Xavier Bali Nyongha
This school was not visited in 2012. We understand it to have an active PTA and £2000 has previously been given from Bamenda Funds towards renovations (total estimate £5,500).
St Benedict’s College Secondary School, Widiku
Principal and manager: Fr Terence
Created by Archbishop following the Pope’s visit, this school opened in 2010.
It is for Boarding and Day school pupils and costs 52,000cfas (approx £63) per academic year for day education and 150,000 (Approx £183) for 9 months boarding.
2012 enrolment showed Year One had 86 students and Year Two had 143 students (89 boarding).
The school had received a grant from the Archbishop of Bamenda for 110million cfas. Half was spent on school buildings and another 50m on the girl’s dormitory, staff quarters and a school car. They also receive support from the Bamenda Diocese College Solidarity Funds (a % of excess fees from other schools go into a central fund which can then give grants to other schools) and the PTA had contributed to text books.
The school has computers and the electricity supply (Sonel) is being strengthened.
A previous problem with the water supply has been solved but concerns remain that the volume may inadequate in future.
Future hopes include: a house for the Principal and further classrooms.
No Application for funds has been received but they are interested in a school twinning relationship with a Portsmouth Diocese school.
Sacred Heart (boys boarding)
Principal: Fr Michael Kintang (who previously studied in Southampton)
Our Lady of Assumption
No visits or photos but this school is twinned with Springhill School Southampton (Portsmouth Diocese)
St Gabriel’s College Bafmeng
Principal: Fr Brian Byrne - Irish St. Patrick’s Missionary (Kiltegan Fathers)
This school was heavily funded by Irish Government grants from 2005. They applied for Bamenda Funds in 2011 for a computer project. They have 20 functioning computers in this IT classroom (left) but require a fortified cable in order to allow the other computers to function.
2012 - Church and school room combined
It took a bit of trekking to get to Achama Up – 4 hours from where we could leave the vehicle! But we were given a warm welcome and ultimately great hospitality when we ended up staying the night unexpectedly as it was too late to get back before dark. This school has been supported by funds raised by St Joseph’s, Copnor.
Christ the King Catholic School, Mbengwe
2014 visit. This school is being twinned with St. John’s Primary School, Portsmouth, gifts were exchanged. 211 pupils, 8 teachers. The school is very basic, the main issue is security, doors and windows cannot be locked therefore books and any other equipment cannot be stored. There is also a need for cupboards. The school is renting an additional house further up the hill where items can be kept secured. Water is a big issue, the children need to collect the water from the parish church or a fountain which is a long walk away.
St Jude Catholic School Fundong
twinned with St. Peter’s Primary School in Winchester. Children welcomed us with singing and dancing. A young boy of about 8 read out a welcoming address. Jessie, who is a teacher at St. Peter’s, addressed the school children then gave the teachers gifts and letters and drawings done by the children from her school. The children then in turn gave gifts they had made e.g. drawings and embroidery.
St Joseph Primary School, Mankon
2014 visit. The school is twinned with St Swithun’s in Portsmouth. After the traditional welcome of singing and dancing from the children we visited the classrooms. They seemed to be reasonably well equipped with desks and chairs. Teachers are very resourceful and seem well organised. They organise their lessons a week in advance and this checked and approved by the headmaster. Appears to be a good teacher/pupil ratio. Apparently no more than 35 children to a teacher. Could do with more work books. This can be expensive for a family with more than one child at school. There is a computer room with a large number of old computers only 4 working. Although we arrived after the end of the school day there was one class of about 30 children still being taught. These are children who were being given extra help due to the fact that at home there is no English spoken just pidgin and the local dialect. Another problem some of them have is lack of electricity so unable to do homework at home. Finally other classrooms were being used for adult classes. These start from 3pm and go on until 8. The students tend to work during the day and in this way can pay for their education. Seemed to be studying for their A Levels. Went into an A Level English class which was studying a Shakespearian play.