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“Attitude is life” – Professor Gbamanja

“Attitude is life” – Professor Gbamanja

Deputy Vice Chancellor of Fourah Bay College (FBC), University of Sierra Leone, Professor Sahr Gbamanja has disclosed that attitude is life, as according to him, “the attitude you carry around makes an incredible difference in your life”.  (Photo; Keynote speaker, Professor Sahr Gbamanja interacting with the participants)

Cross section of the participants

He made this statement on Wednesday 3rd October 2012 at the British Council Hall, Tower Hill in Freetown, during the third day in a week-long sensitization and interactive ‘positive attitude week’ forum organised by the Attitudinal and Behavioral Change (ABC) Secretariat.

Nanette Thomas, National Coordinator and Second-in-Command introducing the keynote speaker

This day that specifically targeted educational institutions attracted pupils from various primary and secondary schools including Freetown Secondary School for Girls (FSSG), Prince of Wales (P.O.W), Merry Weather Primary School, International School, YWCA Vocational Institute, St. Joseph’s Convent, F.A.W.E Community Primary School, St. Edwards Primary and Secondary Schools, National Pentecostal Primary School and Baptist Primary School, among others.

Professor Gbamanja expressed appreciation to the executives of the ABC Secretariat for their tireless efforts in teaching Sierra Leoneans what he described as the ABC of Life.

“Indeed, the ABC of life points to the fact that attitude is everything one needs to succeed in life,” he said, adding: “It is this same attitude that will take you either to heaven or to hell”.

Junior officers of the ABC Secretariat

Attitude, he said, is everything because it is involved in everything we do. According to him, attitude impacts on work performance and relationships.

The professor furthered that ‘attitude can be a powerful tool for positive action or it can be a poison that cripples your ability to fulfill your potential’.

“Your attitude dictates whether you are living life or life is living you,” he maintained.

Professor Gbamanja pointed out that attitude is nothing but an outward reflection of what resides on the inside, adding that changing an attitude means changing the heart first.

“Since attitude can be a powerful tool for positive action, positive attitude and acceptable behavior thus becomes the yardstick for socio-economic growth and development in any nation,” he disclosed.

The ABC Secretariat, he said, has a critical role to play in the socio-economic growth and development of Sierra Leone.

Mrs Ore Awooner Renner officially opening the workshop of the educational day

Officially launching the programme, Mrs. Ore Awooner Renner, started off by congratulating the ABC Secretariat and the Ministry of Information and Communication for continuing with the vision of His Excellency the President, Ernest Bai Koroma, who throughout his first five years in office advocated the need for attitudinal and behavioral change.

“Changing our attitude is not an easy thing because a society is made up of different individuals from various backgrounds, different values and standards, leading to different attitudinal and behavioral practices,” she disclosed.

She expressed regret over the fact that society is regrettably changing with times.

“Standards have dropped, values have disappeared and role models are becoming fewer and fewer,” Mrs. Renner pointed out.

According to her, the classrooms today are inundated with a lot of negative approaches towards learning and teaching. The outside world, she said, is more attractive than the classroom. The attitude of the children be it positive or negative is determined at this stage and will definitely reflect on their behavior and attitude in society in time to come, she stressed.

“Teachers also are much to be desired in their attitude. They may be fortunate to have a job, but less committed to it, reasons being that they are overburdened by work, classes are too large, salaries are not attractive and sometimes delayed and working conditions are not conducive to teaching,” she pointed out.

The aforementioned, she continued, influences the teachers’ attitude to work which trickles down to the children in their charge. According to her, the teachers are using the classrooms nowadays as waiting rooms for greener pastures.

Mrs. Renner said today’s challenges can be tomorrow’s sunshine.

“Instead of judging and condemning, let us use a different approach by trying to walk awhile in the shoes of those we are trying to reach, meet them half way, encourage them to do what is right, help them build better characters, as we walk the rest of the way together for a better Sierra Leone,” she concluded.

After the formal launching of the day’s event, pupils were given the opportunity to add their voices to the discussion, and they used the forum to expose some of the negative attitudes of their teachers.

The opening session was chaired by Mr. Rodney Coker Acting Principal Prince of Wales Secondary School and Technical Session by Ms. Florence Iyamide Davies Principal Freetown Secondary School for Girls.

Executive Director ABC Secretariat, Dr Ivan Ajibola Thomas making a statement

Dr. Ivan Ajibola Thomas Executive Director ABC Secretariat gave the welcome address whilst the National Coordinator and Second-in-Command introduced the keynote speaker.

Courtesy ABC Communications Office

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