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Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio Launches First Girls’ School in Port Loko, Emphasises the Nexus Between Education and Development

Port Loko, Northern Province, Thursday 8 October 2020 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has said at the launch of the first and new state-of-the-art girls’ school in the northern district headquarter town, that education is the single most potent enabler that has developed nations and transformed lives.

“There is inherent good in Sierra Leoneans who associate with a clear leadership vision that prioritises education and especially the education of the girl child. Giving every girl, including pregnant girls, access to free quality school education; reinforcing positive role models for girls; and creating the enabling environment for every girl to succeed and be all she can be, is above politics.

“For my Government, education is a right. We are committed to narrowing gender-gaps and providing opportunity for under-served communities. We believe, as a Government, that we must maximise the multiplier effects of investing in the education of girls. That belief aligns with our Medium-Term National Development Plan, the Sustainable Development Goals 4 and 5, and other international human capital development agenda,” he said.

First set of girls to be admitted to the school

President Bio further noted that the event was about ensuring that girls, irrespective of ethnicity and place of origin, were empowered to contribute their fair share to the development of Sierra Leone. He added that coming three days before the International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October 2020, the opening and naming of the school the ‘Kadi A Sesay Secondary School’ was most auspicious.

“It is even more auspicious because the person after whom we named this school today dared to be and has been unique for her exemplary achievements in academia, her commitment and proficiency in public service, her humility in leadership, her belief in what is right and doing what is right, and her perpetual inspirational presence. She is a veritable role model for me and for millions of Sierra Leonean boys and girls who believe that they can achieve the seemingly impossible and that ceilings are meant to be broken and barriers are meant to be breached,” he said.

The President said: “Her assuring presence, counsel, and energy when the odds are stacked against her are the very stuff that success is made of. Her vision of education and for the education of women, in particular, cannot be captured in words. But she represents three things: that the girl child cannot and should no longer accept artificial cultural and other limitations; that education is transformative for women and that an educated woman is an agent of change for herself, her family, her community, and her nation; and that education is an opportunity for the girl child to be better, make her community and her country better, and give back to her country”.

President Bio cutting the tape

He said while also thanking Mercury International, the benefactor, he wanted to also encourage other private sector players to complement government’s investment in education and to support his flagship vision of human capital development.

“Ultimately, human capital development expands, deepens, and benefits business and the private sector the most,” he concluded.

Managing Director of Mercury International, Martin Michael, started his statement by recognising those he called the real heroes and champions of the project.

“…the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Dr. David Sengeh, the Delivery team headed by Grace together with Mariama, Eman, Haja Isata Kamara, Resident Minister North West, the consultants, Ideas Limited, the contractors, Kolville Engineering, and of course the Management and Staff, the retailers and customers of Mercury International.

(L-R) Resident Minister Northwest, Haja Isata Abdulai Kamara; President Bio, First Lady Fatima Maada Bio, Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and Managing Director, Martin Michael

“I have had calls from friends and well-wishers who have indicated a desire to help this school…In addition, I have asked that we acquire the school’s bank account number to ensure that the sum of Le 10,000,000 (Ten Million Leones) a month is deducted from my salary at Mercury and paid directly to the account of the school. This is a one-year commitment to assist the school in its formative year,” he disclosed.

Mayor of the Municipality of Port Loko, Abu Bakarr Kamara, thanked the government and Mercury International for the construction of what he described as “a state-of-the-art school” that would help educate the coming generation.

“The establishment of this school will help train future lawyers, doctors and other professionals who will bring development to Port Loko and the country at large,” he noted.

Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Dr Moinina David Sengeh, said the establishment of the school in the north was a laudable venture to promote education, particularly that of the girl child.

Minister Sengeh added that the school would focus on science, technology, innovation and other skills in data management that would help solve societal problems.

He called on stakeholders and parents to make good use of the opportunity and to ensure that every girl was able to access education go to school, warning that they would prosecute teachers proven to have done anything that would undermine such a development.

For More Enquiries: State House Media and Communications Unit +23276758764/+23288269282

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