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The constituents of the Junior and Senior Secondary Schools in Port Loko Town have on Tuesday June 19, 2012 pledged to uphold the best kinds of attitudes and behaviours so that they can rapidly improve on their academic performances, promote peaceful co-existence and meaningfully contribute to national development. (Photo: Cross section of the students)
The students made this vow when the Attitudinal and Behavioural Change (ABC) Secretariat top executives called on them at their respective school campuses to sensitize them on the ‘ABC Concept’, ‘Political Tolerance’ and ‘Relevance of Positive Attitudes and Behaviours to National Development’.
Sensitizing the students of one of the oldest learning institutions in the north of Sierra Leone, Schlenker Secondary School, the National Coordinator and Second-in- Command of ABC Secretariat, Madam Nanette Thomas stressed that the speedy corrosion of positive manners among students and school authorities has led to the fall in academic standards which used to be one of the prides of Sierra Leone. Madam Thomas said this trend of depreciating educational sector does not augur well for the country’s economic, political and social development. The National Coordinator of ABC Secretariat cautioned the students to avoid being carried away by the country’s endowment with valuable resources, as according to him these abound natural deposits require a potent national human resource capacity that can tap and transform these minerals to useful assets. She therefore called on the students to take their education seriously and further encouraged them to diversify their fields of studies to more profitable areas like the pure and social sciences. According to her modern students in the wake of beyond belief mineral discoveries in Sierra Leone and intriguing computer technology advancement are shying away from attaching seriousness to scientific studies. She described this denunciation the sciences by intelligent students as a naked display of negative attitudes and behaviours and went on to say that this delineation of the sciences will inept the students who she said are future leaders from healthily competing with foreign job seekers in tomorrow’s job market.
In her lecture Madam Thomas counseled the boys and girls of the Schlenker Secondary School against disregard for dressing codes, lack of respect for teachers, abuse of prohibited drugs, mismanagement of limited time on the excessive consumption of misguiding stuffs, involvement in immature sex, lawlessness and host of other bad characters. “Education is a vehicle that can take you to upward mobility”, Madam Thomas assured the students and went on to inform the students that education is a weapon that would help them to win the war against poverty and thus persuaded them to attain a very effective one. Their secondary education which she said forms the foundation for higher learning she went on to captivate the students should be taken more seriously.
Madam Thomas sensitized the school’s authorities especially the teachers to be professional while extending their services to the students. According to her the teachers must conduct themselves as role models for the students to emulate. She warned them to provide the students with the requisite knowledge and morals that could aid them to pass their internal and external examinations with flying colors. This she said could be ensured through the completion of syllabuses and caring for the students in a more special way. Madam students advocated for the putting of preference on the proper teaching of the female students who she said are normally intelligent more than their male classmates. In this light she warned the male teachers against the sexual harassment of girls who she disclosed are eyed by government to be retained within the mainstream of education.
Sensitizing the students the Executive Director of ABC Secretariat, Dr. Ivan Ajibola Thomas educated them that while attitudes refer to the mindsets and heart-sets of human beings, behaviours are the ways in which these thoughts and feelings are demonstrated. Attitudes and behaviours he taught could be positive and negative as well. When attitudes and behaviours are positive the Executive Director of ABC Secretariat said they will lead to posterity. Conversely when they are negative he said could lead to abysmal failure. He therefore advised the students to abstain from the exhibition of negative attitudes and behaviours since these will not only deplete their academic performances, but also cause hiccups for communal and national development.
In his contribution the Program Manager of ABC Secretariat who is also an old-boy of the school, Mr. Ishmael Cole encouraged the students to add seriousness to their studies. To justify his encouragement Mr. Cole personally awarded one of the Senior Secondary School students, Alpha. S. Kamara a one-year scholarship that will cover his tuition and other facilities.
Commending the ABC Secretariat for reaching his school with their sensitization which he stressed is a major input for national development the Principal of Schlenker Secondary School, Mr. C. S. Kamara called on the students to make good use of the lectures. According to him the sensitization on the relevance of positive attitudes and behaviours will not only help them to achieve excellence in their education, but will as well guide their future lives to success. However he called on the ABC Secretariat to establish an ABC Club in his school as well as others and at all cost integrate the ABC Concept into the proposed 6-3-4-4 school curriculum.
By Momoja Lappia
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