From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Annie Walsh School poised for academic excellence
By Mohamed Kanu
May 25, 2010, 19:36

The Acting Principal of the Annie Walsh Memorial Secondary School, Mrs. Sylvia Scott has informed the Awareness Times that the school has earned reputable recognition in the educational sector of this country for centuries through working in accordance with rules and regulations of Ministry of Education.

This was sequel to media reports that teachers of the oldest girlsí secondary school in West Africa are flouting Ministry of Educationís stipulations against the sale of pamphlets to students, especially when put under duress to buy them. This caused the principal to hold an emergency staff meeting on Monday 24th May 2010.

She spoke to the Awareness Times after the emergency teachersí meeting, refuting the allegation, calling it unfounded aimed at distracting them from working towards academic prowess. "The school do assist students with printed study materials free of cost. These are probably what are referred to as pamphlets," Mrs. Scott pointed out, adding that several teachers have been sacked over the years for unprofessional conducts like sexual and financial harassment of students, negligence of duty and examination malpractices.

This strict nature of management she stressed is what has made the school an exemplary one in Sierra Lone as well as abroad. Mrs. Scott expressed her confidence in students taking the WASSCE and BECE exams this academic year. She further stated that plans are there to empower those that will be sitting to external examinations in the 2010/11 academic year. She said parents and guardians are very collaborative with them in seeing the school proves well in the field of academia and good training.

Mrs. Scott assured they always kept an open door policy. " The schoolís administration is always open to questioning from the concerned public," she stated, she however deplored the unprofessional manner certain journalists do things by going to press without having the other side of the story. But she cautioned that the school as a business entity would not stop at anything for positive growth and image protection.

Mr. A.B Kamara, a senior school teacher revealed that the secret behind Annie Walsh Memorial Schoolís success story is hard work, discipline, and cooperation among the Administration, teachers, parents and pupils.

Some students spoken to commended the schoolís administration for ensuring that they have access to correct learning materials, finish syllabus on time, and giving them other forms of ethical training that would distinguish them from others in further. They also confirmed that their teachers are not involved in the sale of pamphlets. Their only complaint was the noise outside from street traders. "We expect the City Council to do something because apart from the noise, pedestrian walks leading to our school have become markets", Eva Koroma, an SSSII student expressed.

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