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In commencement of its nationwide district level sensitization tour, the Attitudinal and Behavioral Change (ABC) Secretariat has seriously engaged community members and institutions within the Western Rural District on the significance of good morals to national development. (Photo: Dr. Ivan Ajibola Thomas and Mrs Nanette Thomas making their address)
The Secretariat on Thursday November 17th, this year sensitized Junior Secondary School students of the Ahmadiya Agricultural and Peninsular Secondary schools at their Newton and Waterloo compounds respectively on the need to change from professing negative attitudes and behaviors.
Addressing the students, the National Coordinator and Second-in- Command of ABC Secretariat, Madam Nanette B. Thomas underscored the vitality of quality education towards national growth. She lamented over the current inexcusable state of students’ performances in internal and external examinations. She blamed students’ lack of studiousness, teachers’ unprofessionalism, and weak parents’ supervision for this awful situation. Madam Thomas pointed out that the state of affairs of education could be improved by the absolute deviation by students, teachers, and parents. She urged the students to place more seriousness on their studies, abstain from utilizing distracting facilities, and abide by their schools’ code of conducts. She maintained that teachers must serve as role models for students and advised male teachers who are fond of sexually abusing female students to discontinue henceforth.
The Executive Director of ABC Secretariat, Dr. Ivan Ajibola Thomas called on the students to be more competitive and well focused since according to him education is the determinant of their future posterity . In this regard, he called on the students to be true ambassadors of their respective schools and warned them to avoid inimical conducts like absenteeism, truancy, drug abuse, examination malpractices, and disrespect for authorities, and violence.
Mr. Alusine H. Sesay, and Mr. Francis.A.M. Sam, the respective schools’ principals in their responses expressed enchantment for the Secretariat’s sensitization and welcomed the formation of ABC Clubs in their various schools. They described President Ernest Bai Koroma’s Agenda for Change as remarkable and a laudable undertaking. According to them until the bad ways of doing things in the country are reverted national economic, social and political uplifting will be a mirage.
Tolerance Among Political Parties
The Secretariat in a day workshop on the necessity of tolerance within and among political parties decried violence and other disadvantageous happenings in the germane democratic process of the country. Violence which of recent past has resurfaced ahead of the impending 2012 Presidential and Parliamentary elections the ABC Secretariat emphatically denounced and expressed that this idiosyncrasy poses no contribution to national development.
The Executive Director in his lecture classed political tolerance as a major virtue in democratic dispensations. Dr. Ivan Ajibola Thomas admonished present political representatives that the desire to champion state governance should not be marred by violence. He stressed that in democracy political parties are obliged to perceive themselves as partners in development and not enemies. Dr. Thomas called on political parties to spare their valuable times in educating their members and sympathizers on the importance of not misconstruing politicking with criminality. According to him, in President Koromas’ ‘Agenda for Change’ no one is above the law regardless of political affiliations.
Madam Nanette Thomas implored members of political parties to be law abiding and properly oriented. She said the issue of violence during campaigning and elections is uncalled for, and informed that political stakeholders must conduct themselves in the most tolerable ways. She described the coming 2012 elections as a crucial moment in the country’s development. Thus, she called on political leaders to educate their supporters and sympathizers as well as other members of their parties to put up the requirements for free, fair, and peaceful elections. She educated that there are no angels in politics but angles and that in the year 2002 the angle was Ex-President Tejan Kabbah and understandably in 2011 the angle is His Excellency President Ernest Bai Koroma and implore all and sundry to support him to make this country another United Nations. She continued by saying that politics is a turn by turn game. Only those who do not understand how it is played look at it from puritanical sense
In another development, the executives of ABC Secretariat visited the Armed Forces Training Centre at Benguma Barracks to confront soldiers whose negative attitudes and behaviors have dented on the importance of putting on good manners in discharging their professional duties.
The National Coordinator of ABC Secretariat, Madam Thomas termed the military as a noble institution and urged soldiers whose behaviors are denting the institutions’ image to desist from doing them. She advised military officers present to avoid misusing government properties, breaching traffic rules and being adamant politicians. She advised the present officers to be nationalistic and patriotic since these are the virtues that will capacitate them to defend the citizenry and territorial integrity ofSierra Leone.
In his contribution, Dr. Thomas encouraged the soldiers to be steadfast in their responsibilities and maintained that in their quest for better status they should explore gaining higher education. He stressed on the need for soldiers to be apolitical in their dealings and entrusted that by maintaining amicable relationships with the civilians their profession will be dignified.
Responding, the Commanding Officer of Armed Forces Training Centre, Lt. Col. Daniel Yanka commended the Secretariat for their invaluable sensitization and assured that his institution which is suffering from bad morals professed by certain officers will continually collaborate with the ABC Secretariat. He called on officers present to make good use of the ABC Secretariat’s sensitization in a bid for their personal and national progress.
By Momoja Lappia
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