Hearty jubilations greeted President Koroma and his entourage as they entered Tekoh village to officially open a school named after his mother as the ‘Madam Alice Koroma Community Primary school’ on Friday in Makeni.
The Le100 million school project which was funded by the Target Resources- Milestone Trading Company is built at the boundary of two chiefdoms- Bombali Shebora and Makari-Gbenti, thus uniting them.
In his key note address the President underscored the need for quality education to match up with international standards and the need for technological exposure in schools.
“Education is a very serious business for the development of any country,” the President emphasized.
He explained that so much is being said about empowerment, “while we are trying to empower those who need empowerment, we must also ensure that we empower our kids through education as that is lasting.”
“The only meaningful investment any country will do is when it invests in its own human resource,” he accentuated.
The President said “if the people do not have the capacity and the skills to do the things that would bring development, benefit and income the country will become a very difficult country, therefore all of us should focus on education, all of us must sacrifice what we need to sacrifice today and invest in education. That is why efforts like this school, should be taken with all the seriousness it deservers,” stressed the President.
“The sponsors and initiators have created an opportunity for your kids to start the education process. It is a long process and that process needs the contribution of everybody,” he said.
“Parents,” the President advised, “for your kids to be educated, you have to go the extra mile and make sacrifice. It is an investment, if you choose to deprive your child from being educated you have done great injustice to your child and yourself,” President Koroma said.
He also threw light on the influx of ghost teachers and pupils in schools, disclosing that ghostbuster measures are underway to combat this defect in schools which is affecting the quality of education. In his statement, Target Resources- Milestone Trading Company, Country Director, Mr Daniel Chen said, “this beautiful school is part of a wide programme of Target Milestone and Tiffany for charity activities that includes primary, high school, clinics, infrastructural development etc. He disclosed that Target Resources- Milestone Trading Company has invested in Sierra Leone tens of millions of dollars is the past four to five years. “We feel great positive changes in the general and business atmosphere in the country during the last months, these changes have improved the country’s reputation as a modern democratic nation that welcomes and encourages investors to invest and develop the country” adding “We wish to continue the collaboration with the Sierra Leone government on large scale projects that will benefit the country and the nation,” he said.
Mr Chen disclosed that “Tiffany Target Milestone are in a process of establishing a charity organization that will raise funds for building clinics which will provide medical services for reducing infant mortality. We intend to organize the first charity event on fifth avenue New York by next spring – we expect to get full collaboration and assistance from the President and hope to raise money for building these clinics which will provide a safe environment for mothers and their new born babies at the time of delivery,” he disclosed. Mama Alice Koroma admonished other Members of Parliament to emulate this development example. A passionate mother and retired teacher, she said, “mothers please encourage your children to come to school so that they will be educated, without education the country would not develop,” she emphasized. She also thanked the sponsor Target Resources- Milestone Trading Company saying “this is a company that has come to develop Sierra Leone.” Other statements were made by the Member Parliament of the constituency, Alimamy Kamara and the Deputy Minister of Education, Dr Lansana Nyallay
By Ophaniel Gooding