Sierra Leone’s former Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Haja Afsatu Olayinka Kabba has on Friday, 1st October 2010, lectured school-going children in the Portee Community, East of Freetown on the value of education. She was Guest Speaker at a Scholarship Awards and Prize giving Ceremony at the Belgium Spot organized by Ward 355, Constituency 99 during which 88 children of the Ward were proud recipients of scholarships and prizes.
Haja Kabba referred to education as the most precious thing a parent can give to his children that will for ever be with them, noting that with good education, the vices of poverty, dependency, armed robbery and other forms of anti-social violent conducts will not prevail. She commended the Councilor of Ward 355, Alusine Conteh for his foresight and vision in providing scholarships.
|Haja Afsatu Kabba delivering her statement
While extolling Councilor Conteh’s vision for the community as one of a long dream that means good for the children and people of the ward, she associated his good intention with that of revamping the educational standard of what she said was once the Athens of Africa.
“We were a proud country whose educational standard and values were exported far and wide across Africa and indeed the world, but for some unforeseen circumstances, those virtues, values and standards we have lost and which we must regain,” she noted.
|Haja Afsatu Kabba presenting school materials to one of the beneficiaries
Haja Afsatu Kabba said the action of Councilor Conteh is a fine example worth copying by all progressive Sierra Leoneans, for according to her, “It is only through a thoroughly standardized, disciplined and focused educational system would we, as a people; as a nation be able to extricate ourselves from poverty, deprivation and anti social upheavals.”
She therefore called on the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity accorded them by focusing more on their studies than on meaningless social activities such as outings, disco dances, parties and club-going. “Education is the light you will use to find your way to achieve whatever you desire for yourselves and your communities,” she told the pupils.
“The scholarships and prizes you are receiving here today are stimulants and motivations to ginger you up to work harder for you to retain the scholarships. You are chosen as the best among the rest of your counterparts which means you were serious last year and which requires you to be more serious in the coming academic year,” Afsatu Kabba admonished the pupils. She however encouraged those who did not get the scholarships to become more challenging in their pursuit and to work even harder to match up or beat the current recipients.
To the parents, Haja Afsatu Kabba reminded them of their moral responsibilities in ensuring that their children study at home as a way of aiding the efforts of the teachers. She indicated that inasmuch as the children, when they turn out to be good, would benefit the general community, such good turn-outs of any parent’s child is more of a personal gratification on them as parents than the entire community, and as such urged them to be vigilant over their children.
“Do not only depend on what the children come to tell you about school, go there yourselves to hear from the teachers for they could be hiding something from you,” she admonished the parents.
Giving a brief background of the project, Councilor Alusine Conteh said he initiated the idea but he received moral and financial support from senior members of the community. He said the scholarship scheme was agreed upon on given high standards as a way of motivating the children to do more with their school works. He said each of the 88 recipients of the scholarship earned theirs by merit as set out by the Scholarship Committee.
Councilor Conteh said those children who sat to the National Public School Examination (NPSE) and were able to score above 300 marks became automatic winners. He thanked the pupils for their achievements and encouraged them to be more studious so as to maintain the scholarships which he assured would be yearly. He also thanked the parents of the successful candidates for their vigilance over their children’s school works and activities, noting that they were doing the work of the community. He thanked all those who contributed morally and financially towards the project and encouraged others to join in the project for the good of the children and the community.
© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.