An Open Letter to our First Lady – Madam Sia Nyama Koroma
Dear Ma’am: I write to you as our most proactive First Lady, and also as a past pupil of the CMS Annie Walsh Memorial School where you obtained your secondary education that has served you well. I am aware of your work with FLAXIS, an initiative that promotes child education and examines the concept of attitudinal change in relation to inter-generational dynamics bringing back family, societal and cultural values to education. I am also conscious that at the 2010 Women Deliver Global Conference in Washington that you attended, delegates were seized with the improvement of girls’ access to secondary education.
You would already be aware of the proposal by Government to remove your Alma Mater from their present location at Kissy street, an historical site dating back to 1816 providing a suitable alternative site has first been secured and new buildings erected to house the school. In that sense, the School Board ought to be content, and I accept it would be up to them to accept without a challenge.
However, you would not be surprised to know that members of AWOGAs spread across the African, European and USA Diaspora have been taken by surprise, and are justifiably concerned about the future of the school. Ideally, we should be talking about renovating those buildings, and preserving them in preparation for the impending booming Tourist Trade when our visitors would be interested to learn of our rich history by visiting such sites. In that sense, even if the Relocation Committee were to succeed in decanting to a new site to their liking, we should be seeking to preserve those buildings, preferably still as a place of learning, for as long as we can.
I imagine that a proper feasibility study has been conducted of possible sites for markets that would serve our City. This is a formidable requirement as not only the streets carry petty trade, but also the surrounds of just about every school in the City including the government owned Prince of Wales School, and the Albert Academy. As the AGI would no doubt uphold, there is nothing wrong with examining your options, but it is difficult to accept that the desire to close the Annie Walsh School and replace it with a market at that busy road traffic location is their best and only option. Can you imagine an attempt to close Bo school to extend a market in that town?
I anticipate that you share the feelings of your fellow ‘old girls’ all over the world. As the wife of our President, I plead with you to have a word with your husband. This is a privilege only you can exercise, and it is an unwise man who does not listen to such loving intervention, and counselling. We believe that this could prove one of the most significant actions you can take as our first lady in the interest of education of our young women, in general, and the Annie Walsh Memorial School in particular. We pray that you will succeed where others might fail, judging from the ‘Hobson’s choice’ expectations detailed in the letter to Bishop Lynch as curator.
Thank you for your support, and please do try for a change of heart.
Sqn Ldr Winston L T Forde RAF Ret’d.
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