Sierra Leone Telegraph: 26 January 2024:
President Julius Maada Bio yesterday joined the world in celebrating International Day of Education under the theme: “Learning for Lasting Peace”, at this year’s national event in the southern city of Bo.
The five-day celebration, which started on January 22, brought together school pupils from across the country, government ministers, stakeholders in the education sector and local and international partners.
“My government recognises that education is a human right, a public good, and a responsibility. When I became President of our great nation in 2018, my government fully embraced the Human Capital Development vision, where every Sierra Leonean child has access to holistic education.”
While recalling his days as a pupil at the Bo Government Secondary School, President Julius Maada Bio said his heart was filled with profound sense of nostalgia and gratitude, emphasising that that was where the seeds of discipline, integrity, and purpose were sown into his soul.
He said it was the place where he learned how to foster peace and resolve conflicts with fellow students from different social backgrounds, both within and outside the classroom.
President Bio said that “education is a journey with no end. A journey where each new discovery reveals the vast expanse of knowledge yet to be explored. Even amidst the rapid pace of urbanization and development, it is imperative to preserve and nurture our communal spirit as a nation. Our communities have always been bastions of education and guidance, playing a pivotal role in shaping responsible and productive citizens”.
The President acknowledged that the education that paved the way to lasting peace should be multifaceted and should challenge harmful ideologies, bridge cultural divides and infuse communities with empathy and understanding.
“Together, let us reaffirm our dedication to fostering an educational landscape that not only imparts knowledge but also instills the values of unity, respect, and empathy—the pillars upon which lasting peace is built. It is a commitment to nurturing minds and spirits, empowering each individual to reach their fullest potential, and building a society where every voice is heard, every dream is valued, and every child has the opportunity to soar,” he emphasised.
Senior Education Specialist at World Bank, Mokhlesur Rahman, described school pupils as the future leaders of Sierra Leone and expressed optimism that the event would further enhance the government’s hope for access to quality education. He assured of the Bank’s unwavering support for education, citing two of the projects that include education and skills development.
Mr. Rahman said both the basic education and skills development projects are important to the Bank in such a way that they are now working on doubling their financing.
He praised President Bio’s government for putting together an outstanding school curriculum, noting that the country is in a transformational stage to achieving its objective.