Resident Minister Southern Province, Abass Collier, says Celtel (SL) is a great partner to government by its contribution to national development especially in education.
Speaking during the presentation of school books and learning materials to Malen Junior Secondary School, Pujehun District, last Thursday under the ‘Celtel Build our Nation project’, the acting resident minister said, “Celtel is also a good corporate citizen which has come to stay”.
He stated that by coming all the way to Malen to give textbooks to the junior secondary school, the company had done something that would benefit both the community and the country.
He stated that as substantive deputy education minister, he knew that there was a need to read books to get quality education, noting that some people or companies just come and talk without doing anything but “Celtel is doing everything to support Government’s programmes”.
He expressed thanks to the company for their support and noted further that with Celtel in Pujehun now, “it has enriched the people of the area because instead of spending large amounts of money travelling to carry out their businesses or personal affairs, they now use small amount of money to buy top-up cards while the rest of the money they would have used for transportation is saved”.
The resident minister also declared that, “Government is taking education to the doorsteps of every Sierra Leonean and needs the support of corporate citizens like Celtel.”
He urged the pupils to read the books which are the core textbooks approved by the education ministry and not to become dropouts who would depend on their classmates in the future.
Speaking to the teachers, he called on them to be conscientious, patriotic and nationalistic to produce pupils whom he described as their CVs in the future.
Abass Collier also spoke of his relationship with Malen and said he knew that the chiefdom liked education and was in fact the first to establish the school before the government stepped in.
Handing over the books and other materials worth over Le10m, Basilio Sadindi, Celtel‘s technical director (SL) who represented the MD, said Celtel wanted to make life better for Sierra Leone schools with Le450m worth of books and learning materials under the Build Our Nation scheme.
He told the school that Celtel wanted them to develop academically. He disclosed that before starting the scheme, they went to the ministry of education for a list of disadvantaged schools and the list of the core subject textbooks.
“It is important for any nation to develop through education and we in Celtel are proud to be a partner to this nation. I will be very proud to hear that your lives have been made better through these books we have given you today,” he declared.
He also reminded the pupils that as future leaders, the books were an important part of that future.
The school’s principal, Murray Kandeh, expressed thanks and appreciation to Celtel while promising that they would use the books with care. “I will not forget this overwhelming gesture for the rest of my life”, he said.
The school, which is at present being housed at the Malen Producers Cooperative Society Training and Production Centre while their new building under the Sababu project a few yards away is almost completed, has to suspend its exams to receive Celtel and the goodies.
Chiefdom Speaker Robert Moigba, who represented the paramount chief, stated that he felt overwhelmed by Celtel’s gesture.
“When I heard that Celtel was going to help Malen School, I wondered where or how they even heard or thought about us,” he stated.
He also expressed his chiefdom’s desire for education and spoke about the efforts they made at chiefdom level to establish the school in 2004 with just about 250 children. He disclosed that the first set of BECE students would take the exams this year and 45 of them had already been screened.
The chiefdom speaker appealed for more help for the school and also called on other corporate bodies to follow the example of Celtel.
He praised Celtel for coming all the way from Freetown to give them learning materials and prayed that the country would continue to grow bigger and bigger.
The vote of thanks was given by Admire Musa, a female pupil of the school.