I am pleased to announce that my esteemed alma mater, the Sierra Leone Grammar School led the country in this year's West African Senior School exams. The Sierra Leone Grammar School, once known as the CMS Grammar School is the oldest secondary school in Sub-Saharan Africa with an unsullied history of excellence. It was the premier educational institution during the colonial era.
For over a century, the Sierra Leone Grammar School has provided the country and the international community with excellent professionals in all spheres of life, managing to do so while keeping a low profile and being notorious only for the consistent nature of its academic excellence and the international reputation of its graduates.
Even as the educational sector in Sierra Leone has experienced considerable decline due to civil conflicts, declining economic output and incomes, a disregard of the importance of education in development and massive brain drain caused by many excellent Sierra Leoneans going abroad to seek better socioeconomic opportunities, Grammar School has over the years neither faltered nor stumbled, but continues to be a trailblazer in the academic arena in West Africa.
Having grown up on Cockle Bay road in Murray town, my first school secondary school of choice in primary school was Sierra Leone Grammar school for my selective entrance examinations. However my Guardian was adamant that I had to go to the Bo School to be "disciplined."
I grudgingly left Freetown for Bo School to start secondary education on a Sierra Leone government Scholarship. Sending me to Bo Scool was a decision I will always be grateful for, as Bo School is simply a diamond of a school. In Bo School I was taught social responsibility, community engagement and the principle that the pain of your society will always be your pain. I have been in leadership positions everywhere I have worked in my adult life and have always comported myself with distinction. These are traits I owe to Bo school. I did three memorable years in Bo School and then went back to my hometown Segbwema and completed "O" Levels at the Wesley Secondary School school.
After my "O" levels my childhood dream of attending Grammar School became a reality when I was accepted there to do my "A" Levels. There were many naysayers when I applied, saying that Grammar School was for Krios. However, I persevered. The sixth form in Grammar School those days was very difficult to be accepted into, as it was very small and naturally the Grammar School boys got the first preference. However I was lucky to be accepted on academic merit, and graduated from there after two years with "A" Levels.
I will always be grateful to the principal at the time, an excellent human being, Mr. Akiwanda J. Lasite, who is easily one of the most upright human beings I have come across in all my years on earth. The two years education I received in Grammar school was in retrospect the most difficult educational period in my life, bar none. Barring any unfortunate eventuality, any student who completed sixth form at Gramnar school then was bound to graduate from University. In those day, Grammar School made sure that its Upper Sixth class was more difficult than the first year of any university. As most of my friends can attest, my first year at Fourah Bay College was primarily spent sitting under Wisdom Tree discussing current events.
This year according to reports, Sierra Leone Grammar School led the country in International senior school exams followed by Prince of Wales, Annie Walsh and Albert Academy respectively. Annie Walsh is the female counterpart of Sierra Leone Grammar School, another historic institution that the current government is planning to move from its current location in order to open a street market.
Sierra Leone Grammar School was established on 25th March 1845 by the Church Missionary Society at Regent Squire, hence the name "Regentonia". It is the first formal secondary school in Sub-Saharan Africa.