Stakeholders reject school furniture

Stakeholders in Kenema, including MBSSE, Civil Society Organisations and Councils among others have rejected four thousand pieces of furniture prepared for use by schools in Kenema district. The chairman of the Kenema District Council, Mohamed Amadu Sesay, said the chairs are poorly made and unfit for the intended schools, and requested the contractor redo them.

Amara Sowa, National Program Coordinator, Free Quality Education, who toured the four districts of Bombali, Port Loko, Bo and Kenema together with Lans Keifala from State House to inspect the 19,000 pieces of furniture provided by the EU to the education sector, said he does not know who the contract was awarded to. He revealed receiving the same complaints from the Councils and public in all four districts, adding a single contractor was responsible for the entire project.

Sowa said all four districts reported the same challenges with the chairs, including poor quality. “The board used in most cases is not good, the finishing is not good, the chairs are rough, some with nails that stick out of them with the potential to harm users,” he said. Meanwhile, officials in the targeted districts have refused to accept the furniture, which they say is unsuitable for the schools and won’t last long. They called on the contractor to redo the work.

Sowa said they are putting their findings together to submit to the Minister of Education for his attention.

By Saffa B. Moriba in Kenema