Bowina Village School
Bowina is village ,’overseas’ i.e. beyond the Black Volta , on the edge of Mole National Park and inaccessible, due to flooding, for much of the year. The headmaster was trying to run a school there with one mud building, and 2 verandas and another teacher who came from the district. There was no electricity in the village.
He was doing a good job and was being headhunted to move to a ‘proper school’, in town as a reward for his labours. Karimu Nachina, our Co-ordinator in Ghana and Director of GES for Northern Region, had met him and realised that he would like to stay in Bowina.
With the support of an international donor, in 2005 we were able to build a six roomed new school with block walls, shuttered windows and metal roof, and equip it with desks so that hundreds of children had a chance of a primary education.
We also built a teachers block so that six teachers could live in the village and provide a permanent staff. Children flocked in from all the neighbouring villages. When we visited in May 2006 there were such celebrations and some wonderment as the children had never seen a white women before. In 2008 we needed to build a 4 room extension to absorb the 176 extra children and provide for the post primary Junior High School classes in the village.
The headmaster and his staff are so proud of the work of his students, many of whom passed the entrance exam to boarding Senior High School in Damongo. His wife, a nurse, is also very valued as the only health worker in the district.
In 2012 the Primary School has 366 pupils, 162 of whom are girls and the Junior High School has 130 pupils including 52 girls.
At Lukula, with help from the Martin and Eugenia Ephson Educational Trust, we have built a block of teachers accommodation to ensure this much extended village school keeps a full complement of teachers. Female teachers, whilst being a good role model, do need some privacy to help them stay and work safely in these very remote areas. The accommodation is basic with a bed, table, nets at the window and a locking door but much appreciated.
In 2013 we are building our eighth block of teachers accommodation at nearby Kptarigu village so that teachers there will stay and work in the village primary and the Junior High Schools that we have just renovated.