Government Secondary School Kenema, Eastern Region, Friday 12 May 2023 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has been inducted as the 7th Honorary Alumnus Member 007 of the Government Secondary School Kenema, GSSK, commonly called K-School, for championing the transformation of education in Sierra Leone.
The induction event opened the school’s 71st Speech Day and Prize Giving Ceremony, which coincided with the 48-year anniversary of the Kenema Old Students Association, KOSA. The ceremony, staged on the theme “Free Quality Education, Joining with the Best, Taking Responsibility for the Future of Sierra Leone,” was graced by past and present students of the school, government officials, district stakeholders, well-wishers, family members, community people, and the media.
President Julius Maada Bio delivered the keynote address and thanked pupils and alumni for their tremendous contributions to the transformation of education in the country. He said he was attending the school’s ceremony to use the opportunity to celebrate his birthday with the present and past students of the school.
“For me, education is about passion for transforming the country for a brighter future, not a mere campaign tool. This generation is the luckiest of all in our nation’s history, to have a President that thinks of the future of the country by ensuring that all payments and fees for the educational development of our children are paid for.
“Today, I am addressing you as an honorary alumni member of the Kenema Old Students Association, KOSA. This institution has produced illustrious personalities, who have served and are still serving this country and are on the international scene, contributing to global development. 71 years on, this institution has not only strived to be the best but has also proven to be one of the best,” the President confirmed.
President Bio said the theme of the celebration aligned with his government’s vision for transforming education in Sierra Leone, noting that “In the 21st century, the best an individual can do for himself or herself is to have the best education because the world is becoming digital and designed with fit-for-purpose education. As a President, I want all Sierra Leonean children to be part of the 4th Industrial Revolution, and as a government, we believe that until we invest in the children, as a nation, we will remain at the receiving end of the industrial revolution.
“We are here today to witness the Speech Day and Prize Giving ceremony as a result of the fact that I personally believe that education is the best project, especially a fit-for-purpose education. My government’s Free Quality Education is intentional and purposeful, and I am working hard to ensure that my government delivers a fit-for-purpose education nationwide,” the President reassured.
Principal of the Senior Secondary School of GSSK, Alhaji Mustapha J. Mansaray, presented the annual report to the ceremony and thanked President Bio for the Free Quality Education programme and all its benefits, starting from the supply of teaching and learning materials, increments in teachers’ salaries, payment of all school fees and examination fees, ongoing rehabilitation of schools, and provision of wash facilities in most schools, among others.
He noted that their enrollment had increased within the last five years as a result of the Free Quality Education, pointing out that the junior secondary school had an enrollment of 1,450 students while the senior secondary school had 1,433 pupils. He said the school’s performance in the last external examinations saw a record high of 95.5 percent on Basic Education Certificate Examinations, and 85.5 percent on West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examinations, all of which were associated with measures taken by the school administration and the old students.
Deputy Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Emily Kadiatu Gogra, informed that Sierra Leone was the latest to expand on the free quality globally, which recorded an increase in enrollment from one million schoolchildren to 35 million. She said government school subsidies had increased from NLE 35 million to NLE 56 million, major inroads.
Deputy Minister Gogra called on stakeholders, community leaders, parents, students, teachers, and the country at large to support the education of their children, who in turn were going to transform the nation as essential enablers to national development.
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