A WEARSIDE school is helping an African counterpart start the new term in style.
Thanks to Biddick Academy in Washington, students in Larabanga, Ghana, will see their class sizes halved.
The 400 children also have smart new desks to work at and store the small amount of papers and books they have.
Older pupils in Larabanga Primary will now be taught in a new classroom next to the teachers’ room, to encourage them to stay at school beyond 14, which very few girls do.
Biddick Academy supplied desks and Prince William’s anti-poaching charity TUSK Trust, paid for the room for older students.
Tribal chief Lynne Symonds, who grew up in Sunderland, heads up three tribes in the area. She said: “Their teachers are loyal to the school, and happy that they have each a simple room to live in, thanks to the new teacher hostel.
“Teaching will be much easier this year, but the weather will still be harsh and there will be no electricity and always problems with water and disease. They still will be unsure each month whether they will have any pay.”
Lynne, who co-founded a project to help Ghanian children with their schooling, hopes the improvements will also help tackle problems with poaching in the nearby Mole Game Reserve.
Up to now, the villages around the reserve have had little education, leading to devastating poverty. When there is hunger, poaching is essential to survival.
Lynne’s charity, The Wulugu Project, built the hostel for teachers and toilets for the school.
For information, visit www.wulugu.co.uk or call 5485119.