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Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio Receives Outstanding Personality Award as First Lady Fatima Maada Bio Addresses 118th Speech Day and Prize-Giving Ceremony of OBBA

Bo Government Secondary School, Southern Region, Friday 29 March 2024 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has received an outstanding award from the Old Bo School Boys Association, OBBA, for his outstanding contributions to the Bo School and the government at the school’s 118 Speech Day and Prize-Giving Ceremony.
First Lady Fatima Maada Bio, the guest speaker on the theme, “Quality Education, a Tool for National Development”, described Bo School as a place where boys were introduced to leadership either as blockheads, officers, managers, or prefects. She said a simple admission number could show where a Bo school boy stood in a social hierarchy and not their social and economic background.
She informed the audience of how every Bo schoolboy knew their role, played their role, and contributed their part, a testament to civic responsibility, discipline, and hard work. It was a reminder that “the boys will have recalled their friendship for years, remembering how they were transformed from boys into real men as a result of nurturing and mentoring by their great teachers and seniors, and that of remembering how to care for and support the next generation.
“At Bo school, boys become men by learning how to communicate and, as well, learn leadership; a greater example is His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio. Education shines brightly among us all. A light so strong that it can chase away the spectrum of inequality, poverty, and ignorance.
“As we explore the core of this year’s theme, we are talking about education as the foundation for our country’s future and a fundamental right. As you can see, the classrooms that cultivate minds are the beating heart of our country’s progress. Through the Bo initiative of providing free quality education from primary to secondary level, my husband’s administration has not only opened doors but also taken down obstacles,” she reminded.
The First Lady outlined that high-quality education had a huge impact and was essential to sustainable development. She said citizens with education were citizens with power who could overcome obstacles, come up with creative solutions, and improve the social, economic, and environmental well-being of their communities at all times.
First Lady Fatima Bio, while reintroducing herself to the school, noted, “Personally, as 3919b, I have an unwavering commitment to making sure that our young girls get the education to which they are entitled. Our resolute determination is demonstrated by the Hands Off Our Girls campaign and the free sanitary pad distribution that take place across the country”.
President Julius Maada Bio, in his address, reminded the gathering that “our continued presence here is for the pupils in school to motivate and inspire them and to also say thank you to the many teachers who are involved in their personal development. It is also a moment to share fun memories of our days here and with the many people who have become part of the Bo school community. When we talk about OBBA today, it is Bo business, and it is about Bo and everybody in Bo”.
The President, while discussing education and sustainable development, said, “Make no mistakes; no nation can develop without a sound educational system. For you, the pupils, it is more important than any other person to know that your best preoccupation for now should be your education.
“The school system is made of the students, the infrastructure, the teachers, and the parents. If we talk about quality education, it is never possible without the commitment of the three sectors. Therefore, the parent must help the teachers and the pupils; the teachers have to play their roles while the pupils are expected to play theirs too”.
President Bio said it was the cumulative effect of all of the players that would contribute to quality education, stressing that most times parents did not get involved in their child’s educational system and, therefore, appealed to parents to get involved in all aspects of their child’s education by giving them moral support.
“Education is tough and expensive, but it is an existential thing, and I am inviting all parents to take full responsibility today. Don’t leave it to the teacher or the government. Continue to be part of that system because it is a collective journey that involves the parents, the pupils, and the teachers,” the President appealed.
For More Enquiries: State House Media and Communications Unit

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