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On Brima Acha Kamara and FBC problem

On Brima Acha Kamara and FBC problem

From recent media reports, there are plans, by government to appoint Brima Acha Kamara as Sierra Leone’s next Election Commissions Chief. If that happens, he is to replace Christiana Thorpe who oversaw the past elections, which brought the APC into governance.

Acha Kamara as elections boss

But even before the nomination by the President who has the prerogative to appoint and fire, there have been claims in certain quarters that, such an appointment should not be made, taking into consideration few factors, among them; the fact that Acha is from the north and precisely from Bombali.

In fact, let me add, that he is not only from Bombali, but from Mabonkani, just few miles from Binkolo,a predominantly Limba settlement .But should that deprive him of taking up any national responsibility just because he is from a region that is believed to be the stronghold of the party in power? Are we implying that, it is only a south-easterner that should be holding such a position and that no one from the north should be allowed to occupy such a position? I hold the view, that we are not fair insofar as this matter is concerned.

Performance, not tribe

We should look at his appointment from the viewpoint of performance and not from a ethnic or regional background. By so doing we are preaching those virtues which led to our decade long civil war. Let me practically state here that by referring to Acha’s tribe and background, we are not doing a favor to this nation but rather leading the nation back to what we experienced years back. I think, Acha Kamara has performed in his current position as the country’s police chief, which does not mean he has been perfect all this while.  I therefore implore on His Excellency to use his wisdom and decide on the matter. No all may be in favor and that is what democracy expects. 

I have known Acha Kamara for years; his most challenging moment was during the last general elections, he was accused from all angles-even the parties in power then and now accused him of taking sides but at the end, we had one of the most peaceful elections in the sub region.

On FBC and fake result?

Let me now look at what is happening at FBC. Sometimes around last year, I wrote a piece on the need for us, as a nation to have a review of our educational system. This call was based on a number of factors, among them, the poor educational output from most of our contemporaries especially after going through university studies. It is most often difficult to see or hear colleagues, expressing themselves, when one takes into consideration the number of years one would have spent at the university. But there is more to it than the ordinary eye now sees. The problem with the quality of education in Sierra Leone should be linked to introduce the 6-3-3-4. Without malice, the decision was, in my view, untimely and we may need to get a rethink.

I have still not been able to understand the rationale behind the introduction of this system, taking into account the fact, that this is a system that makes great provisions of dropouts for students who could not make it after taking the first West African Senior School Certificate Examinations. With the 6-3-3-4 system of education, you realize that most students facing the WASSC Exams are either immature to face it, or, for the girls, get pregnant along the line.  This is serious. And this problem has trickled down to the tertiary level; most of those who enter university are either not having the required qualification or may end up or being able to go through the course. And this has created a problem at Fourah Bay College even as you read this piece.

I am made to understand, that at present, most students at the Social Sciences and Law Department at Fourah Bay College have not been able to register for this semester, following the discovery by the college authorities that, most students had been admitted without the required qualifications. There are many questions one may be tempted to ask insofar as this matter is concerned.

Not in favor

In as much as I am not in favor of allowing students enter the university without having the required qualification, if one is to ask; where were the Deans of the various faculties when these students were interviewed? And by the way, who were the people that sat on the various panels when interviews were conducted and students, subsequently admitted?

Granted that it is wrong for anybody to cheat a given system, be it the payment of tax, or gaining entrance into the university, it however should be noted, that there are times when people would want to beat the system, and it is at such moments preventive measures should be taken. If the authorities now would want to punish those students for applying  without the required qualifications, it is also equally necessary, that a panel be set up to look into the aspect of how interviews were conducted and what criteria were used in admitting these very students now being penalized. (Photo: Pa John Baimba Sesay)

Humane face

Let us be humane here, it is disheartening now, to see those students, some preparing  for their final exams to be prevented from registering just because of the mistakes of all concerned – this who sat on the panels for the interviews and the students alike.

May I suggest that government intervenes and see how the matter could be resolved in a much more acceptable manner. It is painful to disable students from registration and continue with their educational career, it is also wrong for students to apply when they know they have not met the requirements for entering the university. After resolving the problem, the Minister in charge of education should begin to think of possible ways of reviewing the educational system in the country. Sierra Leone was once known as the giant, in terms of education, can we get back to those days? Yes, we can…

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  • I very much share similar views with you when it comes to presidential appoitments.President Kabbah was not fairly judged when he appointed Brima Acha Kamara to the currrent position by most south-easterners including myself probably out of regional patronage.I think , and rightly so that all appointments for government functionaries should have little or nothing to do with tribal or regional identity but merit,qualification, experience, and valued preformance records. However, the current administation is highly polarized comparable to no other administration in the history of Sierra Leone. It Therefore, it makes sense to wonder what’s going on! Regional/tribal diversity is a calatyst to attitudinal change that the President envisioned long time ago only with the wrong recipe

    6th May 2010

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