Kenema students extol ABC Secretariat
In order to enhance the proper sensitization of students on the effects of bad behaviour towards academic performances, the junior sections of Nassir Ahmadiyya, Holy Rosary and Government Secondary Schools in Kenema on Wednesday November 2nd , this year hosted the Attitudinal and Behavioural Change (ABC) Secretariat. The students extolled the ABC Secretariat after the sensitization sessions which they described will greatly help them in their studies and future lives. According to the students though their school administrations are disciplining them through the use of corporal punishments to drop bad manners, this approach they confided is cruel, scary and violates their fundamental human rights. They admired the ABC Secretariats’ participatory dialogue approach that was employed for the sensitization programmes and confirmed that it was too suitable and convincing and called on their school authorities to try to be like the ABC Secretariat in addressing issues relating to bad deeds and manners. (Photo: Executive Director Amadiya SCS)
Addressing the students at their respective school compounds, the Executive Director of ABC Secretariat, Dr. Ivan Agibola Thomas reflected on how bad attitudes and behaviours within the educational mainstream have robbed Sierra Leone of her enviable “ The Athens of West Africa” accolade .
Dr. Thomas, an educationist and veteran media practitioner, complained about how this retrogressive trend in education has become alarming, deplorable, frustrating and heart rendering. The ABC Secretariat Boss romanced students and school administrations to understand that until these bad behaviours are forced to extinct from the decaying educational sector, Sierra Leone will not progress at the speed her nationals and well wishers are expecting.
According to Dr. Ivan Agibola Thomas the prevailing lust for material things especially the younger generation has caused students to be paying more attention to money-making ventures than their school work. The Executive Director claimed that this is the major reason why students are performing poorly in schools of late. He further classed late coming, truancy, drug abuse, violence, disrespect for teachers, sexual immoralities, education malpractices and lack of reading habit as secondary causes of mass failure in internal and public examinations.
He admonished the students and school administrations to brace up in performing their individual obligations towards rebranding the status of education in the country. Dr. Thomas said this could be done by cooperating with the ABC Secretariat to tidy up Sierra Leone so that she can match up to other countries that have relied on quality education to cure their social, economic and political malaise. Dr. Thomas confided that the transformation from bad manners can only be possible if the students and school administrations are prepared and willing to change. He wrapped up his lecture by making a clarion call on students not to join others with bad attitudes and manners.
In her contribution the National Coordinator and Second- in- Command of the ABC Secretariat, Madam Nanette Thomas underscored that education is the key catalyst to the development chemistry of vibrant economies like the United States America, Great Britain, China, India and other countries plenty Leoneans are seeking as greener pastures.
Madam Thomas schooled the audience that as far as sustainable development is concern, education is more reliable than material wealth. The former which she said is intangible cannot be fleeced and lasts for lifetime. The latter the National Coordinator warned can depreciate into oblivion. Madam Thomas asserted that material wealth can be of more benefit to people with education since they can use and manage it well.
“Education is better than silver and gold!” Madam Thomas exclaimed and encouraged the students to explore available avenues to acquire education at all cost. According to her education is the only weapon that could be used to contend possible future adversities in the search for better employments and welfare uplifting. She continued by stressing the unacceptable conditions of students’ results in their internal and external examinations. According to Madam Thomas this spate of underperformance cannot be unassociated with the playfulness of students, poor tuition offered by teachers, poor cultural beliefs about the vitality of education, and unstable homes.
The National Coordinator warned teachers to be professional while delivering their contractual services to students. She enforced that teachers must serve as role models for students and not deterrents to their learning pursuits. According to her the rampant sexual abuse of female students by male teachers is totally unacceptable since it undermines the government’s drive to promote the girl child education. Madam Thomas assured the students of her institution’s desire to establish ABC Clubs in various schools across the country. These Clubs she revealed will be training students so that they will train others and serve as role models for their counterparts.
Responding, the Principals of Holy Rosary and Government Junior Secondary schools, Mrs. Josephine Kamara and Mr. Authur Alpha respectively extolled President Koroma for establishing the ABC Secretariat to address the grave problems of incapacitating manners in the country. They complained that although these same manners formed the foundation of the past devastating civil war, former post war governments did nothing serious to obliterate them. This mishap the Junior Secondary School Principals said resulted to pupils unconsciously adopting these negative manners which are now unfavorably affecting their academic feats. They lamented over the falling standards in education and persuaded the Secretariat to add more dynamism to their sensitization drive.
An experienced Guidance Councilor attached to the Kenema Government Secondary School, Mrs. Mamatomah. M. Juanah described the Secretariat’s undertakings as expedient especially when it is focusing on the younger students. She divulged how the lacks of morals and ethics have crumbled families and societies within Kenema. According to her students hailing from these uncultured settings are saturated with these bad manners and pose serious threat to their disciplined classmates. Mrs. Juanah therefore advocated for the sensitization to be taken to the family levels as well.
The Senior Prefect of the Kenema Government Junior Secondary School, Abu Bakarr Mansaray on behalf of his colleagues welcomed the formation of ABC Clubs in their schools. He guaranteed the Secretariat that they will use the clubs to the best of their abilities since according to him it will empower them to become a set of modest and disciplined future leaders.
By Aminata Tholley and Momoja Lappia
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