by the Communications Unit (ABC) :
As the Attitudinal and Behavioural Change continues with the journey of transforming the lives of Sierra Leoneans by catching the young, the Methodist Girls High school ABC club was inaugurated on the 28th May 2014 at their school compound Freetown.
The Chair Person Madam Isata George- Sankoh in her opening remarks informed the pupils that they have a huge task ahead of them by serving as change agents to their peers, siblings and the community and by doing this, they are planting the seeds for a positive attitudes that will lead to a successful nation ”attitudes has its roots in words and fruit in action” she noted.
THE HIGH TABLE
During the programme,Mrs Yvonne Sawyer Principal , of the Junior Secondary School (JSS) in her welcome statement noted that ”Negative attitude has been the norm and epidemic eating deep in to the fabric of our society. She thanked His Excellency the President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma for his timely intervention of creating the Attitudinal and Behavioural Change Secretariat. With the relentless research by the Secretariat to have come up with this program for Pilot Schools Agent of Change Club there seems to be a light in the tunnel.
MS. NANNETTE THOMAS TALKING
She appealed to the Pupils to listen and learn very fast as she is sure that the attitudinal messages that have been passed on to them, are the same messages the teachers are passing on to them. She also noted that everyone should be committed to positive change as they already have Change Agents in schools and communities she concluded.
FEREHMUSU KONTE DELIVERING HER ADDRESS
The National Coordinator & Second in Command at the ABC Secretariat Madam Nanette Thomas noted that the rationale for the establishment of the Pilot Schools Agent of Change is to train peer educators who will be used in the school system to influence positive attitude and behaviour through persuasive information and communication. These clubs are also entry points in addressing issues of indiscipline and Lawlessness such as : extra school charges, lack of standards and values, examination malpractices , sexual harassment, extra lessons, professional misconduct, gangstarism, cultism, grand supremacy, violence and drug abuse of school going children.
” my advice to you all is, let girls be girls to carry books and not mothers to carry babies. The ABC condemns this ”after BECE ,answer belleh” and sexually Transmitted Grades syndrome. Use smart choices ,as great hopes make everything possible in this women’s world. Let us all join the match as we listen to the words of President Koroma in his inaugural speech in 2007,”We must be ready now to embrace change; change in our attitude towards one another; change in our attitude to our work and be responsible, and change in our attitude towards our nation. All of these changes should translate positively in to progress and development of our country ”she noted.
MS. ISATA KARGO- CHAIRPERSON
The Deputy Minister of Youth, Madam Feremusu Konteh in her key note address encouraged the pupils to be, zealous towards their academic work and also their daily lives. In her statement, she informed the pupils that the President has dedicated his second term to the Youths and that is why she was at the inauguration as the Deputy Minister of Youth Affairs.
She noted that there alot of negative things happening in the school system such as money for grades, sexually transmitted grades and the like.
She told the pupils not to be lawless and that Lawlessness cannot take them anywhere. ”Do you believe that each and every one of you can change your stars?” In this country only few are born wealthy, whilst majority were born by parents who are poor but with determination and good attitudes those born poor became rich in the future that is why you should not look down upon yourself, you can make it with positive attitudes. Some of you watching me will one day be President of this country, Ministers, Doctors, Lawyers and the likes, but you can’t achieve these goals without good attitudes, hard work and determination.
She noted that the girls should pay attention to education, and they should put aside all forms of unseriousness because when you educate a girl child, you have educated the whole nation. She told them that sex can be the most interesting thing in life and can also be the worst thing in life because a woman will be very happy when she gives birth to a baby at the time she wanted it than the time she don’t need it. You can’t have babies who doesn’t have fathers or whose fathers are not strong to take care of the baby if this happens, it will be alot of strain to you the mother. She lured them that patience and determination is an important key in life ”what changes a man’s star is determination”, what you didn’t get from patience, impatience cannot give it to you, what you didn’t get from obedience ,disobedience cannot give it to you.” I am here because of you, my Ministry was established because of you so I am appealing to you girls to take your education seriously, let your books be your best friends when a woman is educated ,the sky becomes her limit, she concluded.
The Principal of the Senior School (SSS) Madam Daisy McEwen in her statement informed the pupils that the journey of these agent of change club has been a laudable venture as it started with the training of the pupils, followed by meetings between the ABC Secretariat and the school authorities, election of the Executive Members of the school club, and now it’s the inauguration of the pupils of the club. The need for attitudinal and behavioural change cannot be overemphasized, there is a need for a complete and urgent change in our society. The call by His Excellency ,Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma President of the Republic of Sierra Leone, for attitudinal and behavioural change and the establishment of such a Secretariat could not have come at a better time as any delay will have catastrophic consequences on all of us she stressed.
The program ended with a vote of thanks which was done by Mariam Binta Jalloh the President of the ABC Club. In her vote of thanks, she pledged the loyalty of her Club and promise that they will work relentlessly for the furtherance of the ABC work in every spheres of their life, school and their various communities in transforming the lives of Sierra Leoneans.