From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
The Sierra Leone Grammar School Finally Privatized
By Vidal Boltman
Sep 19, 2007, 20:20

After several years of tussle between the Education Ministry and the Board of Governors of the Sierra Leone Grammar School over the issue of privatization, the school has finally been granted the permission to be transformed into a private institution. This means that they are no longer compelled by some of the Ministry’s policies like tuition, the recruitment and payment of teachers and the likes. In the same vein, the school will no longer also enjoy facilities that government and government assisted schools are provided with which include annual subventions and the provision of other essential services.

The Principal of the school, Mr. Akinwande J. Lasite made this disclosure in a special ceremony to mark the reopening of the school for the 2007/08 academic year. In his statement, he described the occasion as historic as they have fought for so long in order to achieve this goal. The principal also gave a brief history of the school as he said over 162 years ago, as part of its pioneering effort in evangelism on the African continent; the Church Missionary Society (CMS) established a secondary school for boys at the Regent Village in the then colony of Freetown. The school he continued, remained in the village until 45 years ago when it was moved to its present site; in keeping with the first line of the school’s song which states in part: ‘on the west end of Freetown there is a great and massive building…’

He also disclosed to the congregation that five years ago a great thanksgiving service was held to celebrate the recovery of a significant portion of their land which trespassers had encroached on for so many years. So he is happy today again for witnessing another mile stone in the school’s development. He gave thanks to God for his continued guidance in changing the school’s status as it has now ceased to be a government assisted school with the Anglican Diocese of Freetown having complete control over its affairs. "The bishop being the proprietor, better attention will now be paid to improve the educational standards of the students," he stated. He however hastened to mention the numerous challenges they went through during the transitional period as well as the ones ahead of them.

In his contribution, the proprietor, Rev. Bishop J.O.P. Lynch said that a new ground was being broken in a subtle way, not with pride or arrogance. He said when the school was founded, ‘in faith’ was the watch word and ‘success’ its target. He concluded by saying that they are going to ensure that the school gains its past glory and to serve as a pacesetter.

In the closing statement, the acting chairman of the Status Implementation Committee, who is also the President of the Old Boys Association, Mr. Ivan Carroll expressed their determination to ensure that in the next few years to come, the CMS Grammar School will be at the top of the mountain to be seen by everyone.

The service was conducted by Rev. Thorpe of the Anglican Diocese of Freetown.

© Copyright 2005, Freetown, Sierra Leone.