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Our Children and the Written Word

Our Children and the Written Word

On 21 June 2013 I reviewed some Children’s Books written by Sierra Leonean Authors that had been sponsored by PEN SL managed by Mohamed Sheriff.  I became excited not only by the Creative skills of those authors but also by the availability of such books to our children.  (Photo: Author, Sqn. Ldr. Winston Forde RAF Ret’d)

The Written Word is vital to the future of our Country and our children must continue to improve on their ability to read and write.  I, therefore, once again salute PEN SL who worked so hard with Nadia Maddy of The Indie Book Show in London to organise a successful Creative Writing Competition open to all schools for pupils aged from 11 – 18 undeterred by the difficult situation of Ebola.  The Competition was linked with Pat Maddy, our renowned Writer, Poet and Actor.  I am proud to have acted as one of the Judges and Congratulate the three winners:

Saffie Koroma - 1st Prize – St Joseph's Secondary School

Saffie Koroma – 1st Prize – St Joseph’s Secondary School


Marian Tarawally - 2nd Prized – St Joseph's Secondary School

Marian Tarawally – 2nd Prize – St Joseph’s Secondary School


Marian Lahai - 3rd Prize – Sierra Leone Muslim Congress

Marian Lahai – 3rd Prize – Sierra Leone Muslim Congress

Speaking as one of the Judges, I am encouraged that so many children submitted Essays, but have to say that there is much room for improvement.  Whilst we are proud of our local languages, there’s no doubt that these youngsters will be responsible for managing and leading Sierra Leone in the future both at home and in the wider International World.  Their command of and ability to use English effectively matters immensely.

I, therefore, take this opportunity to also salute the growing band of SL authors and Publishing Houses such as Sondiata Global Media and Sierra Leonean Writers Series that produce these books.  Government owes us that responsibility to ensure any suitable books are made available in our schools to enhance the education of our children.  You will recall that in order to demonstrate this I serialized one such suitable book of mine in this paper namely Airborne Soldiers designed as a School Text and Reader with Questions at the end of each Chapter for Comprehension. It is worth your serious consideration still.

We must not let our children down and look forward to the next Creative Writing Competition with interest and great anticipation.

Author: Sqn. Ldr. Winston Forde RAF Ret’d.


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