Marcella Samba Sesay, the Executive Director of the Campaign for Good Governance (CGG) and the Chairperson of National Elections Watch (NEW) has stated that the introduction of the Free Quality School Education (FQSE) in 2018 has refocused and recalibrated the hearts and minds of Sierra Leoneans to the importance and value of Education.
She made that statement on Friday 2nd September 2022 during the unveiling of a new building at the Saint Joseph’s Secondary School named after a former Principal of the school, Florence Dillsworth of blessed memory, an additional structure to help return the school to single shift.
“Thanks Your Excellency Julius Maada Bio for this inspiration. At a personal level and a student and practitioner of governance and politics all my life, the greatest achievement of the Free Quality School Education (FQSE) launched in 2018 and coincided with this vision (returning the school to single shift), is the level of awareness on the value of education refocusing and recalibrating the hearts and minds of Sierra Leoneans to the importance and value of education that has been in sharp decline and on the road to nothingness which many political analysts call decadence,” she said.
Explaining the purpose of the gathering a senior ex-pupil of the school, Professor Miriam Conteh-Morgan, said in October 2020 they laid the foundation for the construction of this beautiful edifice, noting that notwithstanding the challenges of accessing funds, there were high hopes for the project to be completed.
She said the initiative for the construction of the building was to synchronize the two shifts system to one quality education shift system.
Proprietors of the school, His Grace the Archbishop Edward Tamba Charles, said they were grateful to His Excellency the President and the First Lady for making time out of their busy schedules to open the building, adding that it showed commitment to education.
He also commended the ex-pupils of various chapters for their commitment to ensuring that their collective dream was realized.
Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Dr David Moinina Sengeh, said because of President Bio’s vision for quality education in the country there had been an addition of over 1 million pupils that had been enrolled in various schools under the Free Quality Education initiative.
First Lady Madam Fatima Bio, who is an alumnus of the school, described the occasion as one that needed to be celebrated, noting that President Bio’s focus on education was not political but intentional because he believed that that was the only way to sustainable development.
She further thanked the President for his numerous supports to education policies, adding that that was why she brought her own support for girls through the “Hands Of Our Girls” project, which also covered the provision of sanitary pads for girls.
She ended by donating 300 chairs and tables to the school while encouraging them to do more and assured the girls of another distribution of sanitary pads by end of September 2022.
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