Permit me to thank all
of the previous speakers for their wonderful remarks. It is good to know that
all of us care about the education of our children. Let me also extend a
special thank you to professor Gbamanja for your brilliant remarks and for your
selfless service to promote quality education in our nation. I speak for all of
us when I say that the people of Sierra Leone are grateful.
Nothing pleases me more
than to be here surrounded by the 2011 recipients of my FLAXIS scholarship
programme. It is truly an honour and pleasure to be here with you today.
There is no better
investment that we can make than in the education of our children. You are our
future ICT specialists, software engineers, scientists, musicians, film
producers, teachers, doctors, nurses and politicians. Education is the
foundation for the prosperity of individuals and nations. The challenge before
us as a people is to ensure that our efforts to provide quality education and
care for our children are realised.
|MRS. SIA NYAMA KOROMA
In our commitment to
help promote the education of the children of Sierra Leone this year, my office
is awarding national scholarships in the amount of 250 million Leones. Students
from all regions Ė North, South, East, and West will benefit from these
I hold on to the belief
that no nation can afford to neglect the education of her citizens because it
is the vehicle conveying quality development of any country. I absolutely agree
with the social commentators that education is the key to the development of
human capital, which is the basis of national economic development. We must
realise that education is also one of the important fundamental rights of
individuals. As we approach the countdown to the Millennium Development Goals in
2015, we need to ask ourselves how best we can contribute to help to improve
the quality of education in our nation as we try to achieve universal primary
education. To a large extent, this must be done with some urgency because we
have been entrusted the responsibility of addressing this important
FLAXIS is the acronym
for First Ladyís Attitudinal Change In Schools. The FLAXIS Project is a
deliberate response to the clarion call of the President of the Republic of Sierra Leone for the need for
attitudinal and behaviourial change in our society. What better way to effect
change of attitude in our nation than to educate the minds of our children!
This is necessary for them to acquire adequate and appropriate knowledge,
skills, attitudes and values that will enable them to function optimally as
respected citizens of Sierra
Leone. The FLAXIS scholarship project
reaches out to needy students who have the brainpower but not the means to
further their education. Experience has taught us that in most instances, we
usually encounter boys and girls who are smart but poverty inhibits them from
actualising their educational goals.
We know that in every
society, education connotes acquisition of something good, something
worthwhile. It is the process through which individuals are made functional
members of their respective societies. The FLAXIS educational project has as
its goal the training of the heart to desire what is good, and the will to
choose and desire what is right, as well as the mind to understand how to live
respectfully as real citizens in Sierra Leone and the rest of the
world. We aim to promote education far and wide because we believe that the
hearts of our children need to be reformed and purified.
As part of the FLAXIS
project, we will be coming out with text books and teacher manuals on ďCitizen
Education on attitudinal and behavioural change in Sierra Leone.Ē The Curriculum
Research Department at the Ministry of Education has finalised the editing of
the text books and the findings and recommendation for approval will be
presented to the Minister of Education next week. In the not too distant
future, my office will be formally launching these text books. With the
publication of these text books, it is our desired hope that we will be able to
influence the attitudes of our school children to understand and appreciate the
value of making positive changes and positive choices in life. Teacher manuals
are also being developed to accompany these text books and the editing of these
manuals will be completed by the end of the month. We are not only involved in
the production of text books and manuals, we have also provided lap desks to
students all over the nation, we have provided school bags, text books,
computers, printers and¬† sewing machines to empower women and promote girl
child education Ė and we will continue to do more.
I need to offer a thank
you and congratulations to the parents, family members, relatives, teachers,
and to our special donor representatives from NATCOM, Cape Lambert, Redcoat,
Sierra Leone Commercial Bank, and Five Stars Business Services. All of you
deserve a big thanks and congratulations for a job well done. It really does
take a village to raise a child and without that proper foundation of support,
love, tough love, and encouragement that comes from all of you, these students
would not be here today.
To our recipients today,
one of the main ways of being diligent is to pay particular attention to the
pursuit of knowledge. Let me remind you that education is the most powerful
weapon which you can use to change the world and your lives. Our nation is
undergoing an enormous transformation today and so is the rest of the world. I
see you as participants in leading and shaping this transformation and it makes
me feel good about our countryís future. I am sure that you will value the
scholarships and more importantly, bring home good grades that will make your
parents proud. You are our pride and future leaders of Sierra Leone.
Let me once again
congratulate you and encourage you to go forth and learn. Be a part of the
change. Make a difference. Enjoy what the future holds, because I am sure it
will be very bright for all of you and thus for all of us.
God bless you.
¬© Copyright by Awareness Times
Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.