Ecole publique de Mindassi is located in Dzeng Sub Division, Nyong et So’o Division in the center region of Cameroon. The school was created in 2012 as a community school was transformed to a Government Primary School in 2015. The school went operational that year without accompany structures and learning facilities. The responsibility to provide the teaching and learning infrastructure in the school became the burden of the poor local population who through the Parents Teachers Association (PTA) of the school managed to a temporal makeshift structure with extremely limited financial resources.
The plank makeshift structure of 3 classrooms put in place by the community and the PTA had no door nor window shutters, un-cemented floors no ceilings, no permanent visible writing boards with just a few cbenches. With just 3 tiny classrooms measuring less than 4m2 for each the full cycle school saw 2 classes crowded in one room for teaching and learning. With bearing 10 benches in good conditions, over 67% of the pupils sat on the dusty and muddy floors in the dry season and rainy seasons respectively. The dusty floor propagated the spread of jiggers and upper track respiratory diseases among the pupils and teachers, while in the rainy season like in the dry season children returned home very dirty. These classes were shared with animals due to the lack of door shutters. During the rainy season, due to the absence of a ceiling, window and door shutters, school closed early as the heavy torrential rains interrupted classes through the noise on the roof of splashing water through the windows and doors. With these teaching and learning conditions in situ, parents pulled out their children from the school and decided to send them to school proper facilities. Children from Mindassi therefore trekked over 6km to the nearest primary school. Many of them arrived late and others never reached the school after leaving home.
According to the school administration and the community, with their appeals to the government for infrastructural assistance for the school not being answered, they did what they could to put in place the makeshift structure. The poor teaching and learning infrastructure in the school lead to poor performance by the pupil, poor enrollment as many parents decided to pull out their children and send them to better schools, high prevelence of jiggers and upper track respiratory diseases among the pupils and teachers due to the unclean environment and open defecation due to the lack of a toilet in the school.
With the assistance of the Council of Dzeng, the community applied to SHUMAS for assistance. In 2020, SHUMAS carried out a feasibility studies in the school and from the need and level of envisaged community participation, SHUMAS selected the community to benefit from the SHUMAS 2020/2021 school construction projects.
Seeing the need and evidence of community participation, SHUMAS and partners Building Schools for Africa decided to assist the community to provide infrastructural assistance to the EP Mindassi. The assistance consisted of;
- The construction of 3 new classrooms, an office and store
- Construction of a 3 compartment gender segregated VIP toilet for the pupils and teachers with hand washing facilities
- Provision of 27 benches, 3 teacher’s chairs and tables
- Provision of COVID-19 prevention materials
The Director General of SHUMAS MFORMI NDWEREM STEPHEN NJODZEKA officially handed over the projects to the Ministry of basic education through the Subdivisional Officer of Dzeng who officially presided the ceremony. It was implemented in collaboration with Mayor of Dzeng. Present at the occasion were the Inspector of basic education for Dzeng, the police commissioner of Dzeng sub station, Gendarmerie commander for Dzeng, notable elites of Dzengs Parent, teachers and the pupils of Ecole publique de Mindassi. The Pupils, School Authorities and Parents of Ecole publique Mindassi were so impressed and very grateful for the great gesture in the form of donations from SHUMAS and partners BSFA-UK. For the past 5 years Ecole Publique de Mindassi has been facing serious challenges in learning on their original learning environment. It is in this direction that SHUMAS Cameroon and BSFA-UK quickly came to the aid of this Community to relief and bring smile to the faces of these kids whom we consider as leaders of tomorrow.