As the wind of change blows over Sierra Leone, the Sierra Leone Grammar School is not left untouched by the whirlwind, as the once government assisted secondary school is now a fully independent private entity. The declaration was made yesterday by the principal, AJ Lasite, and affirmed by the school’s proprietor, Rtd Rev JOP Lynch- the bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Freetown.
In a special commencement service to mark the opening of the 2007/2008 school year and the epoch making event at the school’s hall at Murray Town in Freetown, the principal stated that the occasion “is historic in many ways.”
Mr Lasite explained that, “over 162 years ago as part of its pioneering effort in evangelization in Africa, the Church Missionary Society established a secondary school for boys at Regent Square…” adding that “45 years ago we moved to our present site in keeping with the first line of our school song.”
Five years ago, he continued, “we held another special service thanking God for his guardians and assistance in recovering our land.”
Today, Mr Lasite said, “we are witnesses to another significant milestone in the school’s distinguished history, as we thanked God for guarding us in the process of changing our school’s status so that she ceases to be a government assisted school and reverse to the control of the founders now succeeded by the Anglican Diocese of Freetown with the Bishop as the proprietor.”
In the years leading to this change, the principal accentuated, “there have been problems, challenges, disappointments, disputes, and meetings of various sought, but we remain convinced that God who has given us the vision of change would take us through successfully.”
“God’s hands have always been over the school and continue to guide and shield us in the years to come,” emphasized the principal.
In his address, Bishop Lynch stated that, “today God has enabled us to execute our plan for a self governing status within the broad guidelines of the Sierra Leone Government’s education policy,” adding that the move was a significant step.
Speaking on the theme ‘breaking new grounds’, he explained that a new ground was being broken in a subtle way and not with “pride or arrogance.”
The Bishop explained that when The Grammar School was formed “faith was the watch word and success her target”. He explained that they were going to ensure that the school served as a pacesetter. In his statement, the acting chairman of the Status Implementation Committee and president of the old boys’ union, Mr Ivan Carol emphasized that, “we are determined to ensure that in the next few years our school would attain a higher height for all to see.” The service was presided by Rev Thorpe.