The ABC Secretariat on Friday 16th may, 2014 inaugurated the members of the Prince of Wales Attitudinal and Behavioral Change Pilot School club. The inauguration is in line with the implementation of the agents of change pilot school project for secondary schools across the country by the ABC Secretariat as a way of catching the pupils when they are young. It could be recalled that in February, 2014, the Secretariat organized three days training program for pilot schools in the Western area so that pupils would be agents of change to their Peers, Colleagues and Siblings at school and their communities.
NANNETTE THOMAS : THE NATIONAL COORDINATOR
During the inauguration, the Chairman of the ceremony Mr. Daniel Parkinson Senior Communications Officer, Ministry of Information and Communications, congratulated members of the ABC Club, “you did not make a mistake to be part of the ABC Club” he told them, adding that they have learnt a lot from the secretariat. Mr. Parkinson informed them that as members of the club, they are not only charged with the responsibility of transforming the attitude of your colleagues, Peers and siblings but also your different communities.
He told them that the challenges are enormous but believed that the members are going to succeed because of the kind of training they had received from the Secretariat. The Chairman also noted that today we are crying down authorities that they are putting on negative attitudes and behaviors, but told the pupils that this is the right time to change all those negative things. He asked them to look in for role models in their lives, calling the attention of the pupils to the high table counting on Professor Sahr Thomas Bamanja.
The National Coordinator and Second in Command of the ABC Secretariat, Madam Nanette Thomas noted that there are a lot of indiscipline in the school system such as violence, truancy, examination malpractices, lack of respect for school authorities, negative peer influence, extra charges for lesson fees, sexual transmitted grades and many more. Madam Thomas disclosed that it was against all those anomalies that the Secretariat decided to focus on per strategic action plan, train peer educators in the school system so that they can influence positive attitude and behavior.
“To you the trainees, you have been trained as agents of change/peer educators to effect the necessary change required for the promotion of your school” she told them, that willingness and readiness are the two things they should have in their minds if they want to effect the needed change. “Let us change to move this country forward,” she said to them, emphasizing that they should change to make a better Sierra Leone. The National Coordinator also called on the club members to be very enthusiastic in effecting positive change and to revolutionize their lives.
She told them that as agents of change, they should take the leading role in injecting positive attitude and behavior to their peers, school system, siblings and their communities at large. Adding that the pupils should be taking part in community radio discussion programs, inter-secondary school visitations and competition, so as to support and promote positive attitudes and behavior and to discourage negative ones; noting that children can understand themselves better when they talk to each other than adult talking to them. The Vice Chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone, Fourah Bay College Professor Sahr T. Gbamanja who inaugurated the club in his statement stressed that the pupils had been trained to be agents of change for their school and to serve as role models to other schools and the country at large.
The Vice Chancellor noted that members of the club had been given the greatest responsibility to change the negative attitudes and behaviors of their colleagues, “I encourage you to use the knowledge, your experiences, and skills to serve as peer educators and co-learners to indoctrinate your counterparts on the need to have better attitudes and aptitudes” he said to them. Professor Gbamanja noted that the highest picks of the lives of the pupils depends on the attitudes and the natural abilities of the pupils to achieve, noting that it was for that reason that the Secretariat tailored the agents of change training theme as, ” your altitude depends on your attitude and aptitude.”
He further stated that attitude is everything one needs to succeed in life, saying that attitude involves everything, “attitude is life because, the attitude that you carry around makes an incredible difference in your life” he told them. Meanwhile, he told the pupils that if they want to succeed in life and reach to the top, they must have the belief that they can do it. He stressed that they need to convince themselves that they can do it.
The Principal for the Senior Secondary School, Mr. Michael A Bundor in his address disclosed that before the coming into the school system, the Prince of Wales Secondary School had been a role model to other schools in terms of discipline. He promised that his school will always continue to do the same, “the coming of the ABC Secretariat is very important because of the negative attitudes of many Sierra Leoneans” he stated. Members of the ABC Club acted a short skit show casing negative attitudes and behaviors of parents who tried to inject negative attitudes into the lives of their children.
The program ended by a vote of thanks which was done by the President of the ABC Club Prince of Wales Secondary School Mr. Samuel Betts. In his vote of thanks, he pledged the commitment of his club members, and promised that they will always perform their duty as peer educators and role models in their schools and communities, he emphasized.