Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Calling Sherman's Bluff: The Highly Educated Joseph

Wannabe Minister Sherman
Joseph Sherman, now we all know that you are getting a PhD in 2013. Congratulations and good for you. You also have a bachelors degree and double masters, way to go! What an impressive set of academic credentials for a sycophant. If only we would now know the universities you got these credentials from it would be all the more helpful to President Koroma, whenever he ever decides to elevate you from the position of a roving sycophant to that of a government agent, as your very frustrated piece, which has somehow miraculously disappeared from your site seemed to indicate.

Sherman if the Sierra Leone Peoples Party ever needed a spokesperson they have many and fortunately for you, I am not one of them. Thinking that you can cunningly link your highly inappropriate article begging for a job to SLPP, as a ploy to divert attention from your shameful public pleading  for a position in the Sierra Leone government, does not fly with even the children in your household and they won't with me.

It was the misinformation peddled by fellows like you that prompted some of us to take a step back from mundane blogging and step into the realm of political blogging. Fellows like you still believe in practicing 1970s journalism in 2013. Unfortunately, you fail to realize that with the growth of cyberspace, the proliferation of smart mobile technology and the rise of the citizen reporter, you should have at least tried to adjust your propaganda proliferation methods to reflect this new reality.
Sherman's Baboon

You are right that your pen is mightier than a sword. Unfortunately, your pen is not challenging a sword, it is challenging another pen! You talk of the propaganda machinery you had in place for President Ernest Koroma and believe that is why he won in November. Great for you, people in Freetown campaigning for Ernest Koroma had your propaganda plastered all over their faces, going from house to house.Unfortunately it did not get you the position you desired, my bad. Bad mouthing I.B.  Kargbo was a strategic mistake on your part, is that not so, next time you will think before you put a pen on paper.

What you call propaganda machinery, I will call a mediocre attempt to get attention. You fail to realize that even for people in the diaspora, Sierra Leone is just a mobile phone call or a Facebook chat away. Do you really believe that telling feel good stories about a situation we are so intimately attuned to was excellent propaganda? Do you really believe that by writing all those niceties you deserved a government position and hence subscribe to the notion that praise singers should now rule our country? Well it seems as if those who knew how to do it better than you got rewarded. Even among propagandists, you are not even third best. My sympathy.

Sherman, just last week you wrote a very mean spirited column against one Umaru Fullah Jalloh whose only crime was telling you that your statement describing the red buttocks of a baboon in reference to the president of your country was wrong. Instead of responding to the fellow's points, you went nasty on him and publicly announced to the whole world that he was a just trash collector who needed psychiatric treatment. You may be more educated than the fellow, but are you aware that in America what is important is not what a man does, but his ability to feed his family? What is the value of all your education if you do not even see the dignity in honest labor? What has a man's profession got to do with telling you the truth?

You had the audacity to write about me romanticizing about you. Should you even mention romantic and yourself in the same sentence? I have long realized that people who are quick to advertise their educational credentials are not even worth the effort to respond to. What was really the point of  listing the number of degrees you have, to impress Sheku Sheriff? If that was your purpose, it is rather unfortunate, as I have students I have taught who are more educated than you will ever be, PhD included.

When a man that has the sort of qualifications you have, start throwing public temper tantrums because he was passed over for an appointment, it manifests a lack of faith in the credentials you claim to possess. America has a lot of bogus and unaccredited colleges and until you tell me the colleges that educated a fellow like you, I will just consider you a high school graduate with fanciful papers.

And for your information, writing long sentences and bogus terminology does not make you appear educated, it makes you appear pretentious.
 I will add a link to your highly uninfluential response here.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Is Sierra Leone Being Dumbified?

"So They want us to think stupid, so they want us to do," Rodney Winston aka Burning Spear

"Dumbification" is not a standard English word, but it is used in informal urban English to mean "The dumbing down of the human intelligence"  That is the only way I can describe what is currently going on in my country Sierra Leone. I will take the liberty of helping to define dumbification as a deliberate attempt to make the people of a society appear unintelligent, a conscience attempt to take dumb ideas and make the people believe it is fact. Some of the statements coming from public officials in Sierra Leone sound almost like a deliberate attempt to dumbify the people.

Some of us in November 2012  opposed President Koroma's candidacy as was our democratic right. However, I really did not consciously attempt to read and analyze the contents of his political manifesto, the glorious Agenda for Prosperity. So one of these days I sat down with a fine tooth comb and went through every chapter of the agenda for prosperity line by line, to know what it was the president was trying to achieve and how he really attempted to bring prosperity to the people of Sierra Leone, when during the past five years he had presided over a precipitous decline in living standards, while publicizing the construction of roads and mosques and glorifying and spending millions of dollars on electricity projects that constantly kept the people in darkness.

So, I read the Agenda for Prosperity, cover to cover, noting the great aims and lofty ideals, the inconsistencies, the lack of theoretical or ideological foundation, the slide of dialogue from first to third person and the lack of uniformity in thought, content and style. I will analyze the Agenda for Prosperity at a future date, and show how it exposes the theoretical economic shallowness of the current Freetown regime.But that will be another day. This article is aimed at showing the falsity of a statement recently made by Sierra Leone's current Information and Communications Minister Alpha Kanu, who was formerly the minister for Public Affairs, whatever that meant.
Alpha Kanu

On a recent appearance on Star Radio on Monday February 18, 2013, Minister Kanu responding to negative reactions to the over sized and bloated cabinet of of President Koroma, in a country regarded as one of the poorest in the world, had this to say about the president's cabinet, "when you have a big job to do, it takes a large number of workers or people to perform it or else the people who voted will not take you seriously to do what you promised to do when elected" Alpha Kanu, 2013.

Minister Kanu's false logic is that when you have  serious work to do in a short time you needed a lot of people to do it. In other words, the more the number of people you have, the better the capacity you have to do the job. Where does President Koroma find these guys? In other words, instead of too many cooks spoiling the soup, they actually made it sweeter. This assertion was so naive that upon reading it I actually sat back in my chair and laughed, before I realized that these were the people charged with guiding the affairs of our poor country Sierra Leone.

I do not know if Alpha Kanu was educated in a  socialist country like the former Soviet Union where the government does everything for the people. If he did I would understand his world view. However,  the assertion that greater bureaucracy leads to better government has been debunked over 50 years ago even before I was born and for this statement to be proffered as the reason for the monstrosity of the size of the government in Sierra Leone flies in the face of all conventional reasoning and modern intellectual thought. It is what the Krio people describe as "yo sabi but you nor know"

When President Koroma was elected  president in 2007, one of the many promises he made was to run Sierra Leone like a business. I guess Alpha Kanu has a different idea what that means. When economists postulate the idea of running a government like a business, they do not mean running it for profit. What we mean is that the operations of the government are streamlined to make them as efficient as a business. Businesses exist to make a profit, so they have to be run in a way that maximizes their returns. Businesses do not become efficient by employing more people, they do so by employing  highly efficient people and streamlining their operations to achieve optimal productivity at minimum cost. It is not the number of employees that make a business successful.
Youngest Cabinet Minister

The size of the cabinet of a country does not translate to economic progress. If it did, Sierra Leone would have been more developed that USA and Japan combined. Why President Obama has only 15 Cabinet members and some cabinet level postions and Ernest Koroma has 24 Cabinet Ministers, excluding the Vice President and deputy ministers is mind boggling, to say the least.  How does this cabinet ever meet, how does everybody get the chance to talk? As it stands, if you add all the deputy ministers, with some ministries having more than one, the small country of Sierra Leone has almost sixty ministers. Add this to the number of presidential advisers, ambassadors and press attaches, one can easily opine that the greatest obstacle to the achievement of the president's agenda for prosperity is the size of the government of the country, it is just to big to be meaningful, especially when the situation warrants quick decisions to be taken.

Has anybody in Sierra Leone ever sat down and really calculated how much it costs the poor people of Sierra Leone to upkeep such a bloated cabinet and diplomatic service? Has President Koroma and Alpha Kanu not heard that the world is now moving towards an era of smaller governments, the shrinking of the public sector and the expansion of the private sector? Do President Koroma and his minions not realize that this is the era of private sector led economic growth? Even America, which has the most prosperous economy in the history of mankind now has the maintenance of smaller government as a primary public sector objective. So why would you actually have a minister of a poor country like Sierra Leone going over the radio and speaking  like the cleverest student in a Segbwema primary school. This is because this current government listens only to ideas from people who wear red ties.

Mr. Kanu, it is not the size of a government that matters, but the efficiency of the government. It is not the number of ministers that bring progress to a country, but the quality of the ministers. We have had three ministers of education, has that translated into better results in international exams? The resounding answer is no. We have had consistently worse exams than when we had only a minister and a deputy. Why would you have a minister of public affairs, another for internal affairs and another for local government. Is local government not part of public affairs and part of the country's internal affairs. Don't you see the potential for waste duplication and lack of clarify in roles.

What is needed in Sierra Leone is not a large number of minsters, it is the reintroduction of basic intelligence in managing the affairs of the state. The income expended on the upkeep of a single minister; housing, transportation, fuel, security, health, etc is too much for a country like Sierra Leone to have so many ministers and that is not just criticism but economic reality.

The money that is spent on this ministerial mob would be better used in the provision of better services and providing instruments for the growth of the private sector. Minister Kanu is not only wrong, but he seems to be living in a different era altogether.

Koroma cabinet. Not Including Deputy Ministers.
His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma
Alhaji S.S. Sam Sumana
Vice President
Dr. Kaifala Marrah
Minister of Finance and Economic Development
Dr. Samura M.W. Kamara
Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation
Ms. Finda Diana Konomanyi
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development
Mr. F.B. Kargbo
Attorney-General and Minister of Justice
Alhaji Alpha Abubakarr Kanu
Minister of Information and Communications
 Hon. Alhaji Ibrahim Kemoh Sesay
Minister of Political and Public Affairs
Alhaji Usman Boie Kamara
Minister of Trade and Industry
Major (RTD) A.P. Conteh
Minister of Defence 
Dr. Minkailu Bah
Minister of Education, Science and Technology
Mr. A.P. Koroma
Minister of Works, Housing, And Infrastructure
 Mr. R. Robbin-Coker
Minister of Energy
Alhaji Minkailu  Mansaray
Minister of Mineral Resources 
Mr. V.C. Minah
Minister of Transport and Aviation
 Mr. E. F. Moijueh Kaikai
Minister of Social Welfare, Gender, And Children's Affairs
 Mr. Alieu Pat-Sowe
Minister of Fisheries, and Marine Resources
 Dr. Mathew Teambo
Minister of Labour And Social Security
Dr. J. Sam-Sesay
Minister of Agriculture, Food Security, and Forestry 
Mr. Peter Bajuku Konteh
Minister of Tourism and Culture
 Mr. Musa Tarawally
Minister of Lands, Country Planning and the Environment 
Mr. P. Kamara
Minister of Sports
 Mr. J.B Dauda
Minister of Internal Affairs
 Mr. Alimamy Kamara
 Minister of Youth Affairs
 Ms. Miatta Barlay Kargbo
Minister of Health and Sanitation
Mr. Momodu Maligie
 Minister of Water Resources

Friday, February 22, 2013

Oscar Pictorious Granted Bail

Reeva Steenkamp
After two tense hours this morning the Olympic and Paralympic superstar Oscar Pistorious has been granted bail in a South African court in the shooting death of his aspiring model girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp. Even though the presiding Chief Magistrate Desmond Nair stated that he had a lot of problems with Oscar Pictorious' account of the events of that fateful night, he did not see him as a flight risk because of his international face and name recognition.

Pistorious, a double amputee who had caused much controversy by being allowed to run on a special set of prosthetic legs at the past Summer Olympics in London, had shot his 21 year old lawyer and aspiring model girlfriend four times through a closed bathroom door, claiming that he thought an intruder had been in the house.
Happier Times

Due to South Africa's high crime rate, most affluent citizens are allowed to own guns for self protection. A country with a history of racial tensions and past racial injustice, a lot of people in the country have turned to crime in a society defined by high income disparities that have not improved with the end of apartheid, the system of rule characterized by the domination and exclusion from power of the black majority by the white minority. Apartheid came to an end with the election of Nelson Madiba Mandela as President, after more than a quarter of a century in jail. Mandela's successors have been major disappointments, unable to lift the black population out of poverty, with the current President Jacob Zuma, known more for his serial womanizing than effective leadership.

Pistorious account of the incident was that very late in the night of February 14, 2013, he had heard some noise emanating from his bathroom as he closed the door of his balcony. He claimed that he felt his life was in danger and since he did not have his prosthetic legs on, he felt a sense of increased vulnerability. He then took a gun from under his bed and fired four times through the close bathroom door. He had shouted for his girlfriend whose location he did not verify, to call the police. It was only when he had broken the door down that he realized he had fatally shot his girlfriend multiple times.
Better Days

Prosecutors roundly rejected Pistorious' version of the events claiming that the holster of the gun was discovered on SteenKamps side of their bed, making it highly improbable that he would not have known that she was not there. Prosecutors also questioned Oscar's assertion that he was not wearing his prosthetic legs, due to the angle of the shots that were downward, indicating he had been standing high when the shots were fired.

The Segbwema blog correspondent in the court room stated that there was a small applause from people close to Oscar when the decision to grant bail was announced, but the court was mostly quiet. Magistrate Nair said that the prosecution has made a strong case and said that he had difficulty comprehending why Pistorious did not ascertain the whereabouts of his girlfriend or call out to know who was in the bathroom before releasing the volley of rounds. Oscar was released on the condition that he pay a  hefty bail fine, he is to report every two weeks to authorities, he should not go to the house of the incident and he is to abstain from drugs and Alcohol. Random drug and alcohol tests will be conducted
The Blade Runner

Oscar earns millions of dollars annually from endorsements has lost most of his corporate sponsors like Nike and is going to face substantial financial losses in addition to potentially spending the rest of his life behind bars. Pistorious runs on a specially designed set of runner blades and has come to be widely known around the world as "The Blade Runner"

In a bizarre twist, the chief prosecutor of the case was removed because he is also facing multiple counts of murder.

Sheku Sheriff
Segbwema Blogger

Sierra Leone Political Updates: Joseph Sherman's Baboon Buttocks

Joseph Sherman Minister?
APC's Joseph Sherman, one of the ubiquitous loyal attack dogs of the current APC administration of President Ernest Koroma seems to be going through some tormenting mid life crisis, and he is not a happy man.

 Joseph Sherman came to light and vigor after the appointment of Cocorioko blogger Rev. Kabbs Kanu as Minister Plenipotentiary in charge of rebranding Sierra Leone. Sherman saw an opportunity like this in the future and he dove into blog journalism with fanatic passion.

Sherman, an unrepentant admirer of the political clergyman took the rebranding program seriously. Starting with the poorly written APC Times he soon opened his own propaganda online portal, The Salone Monitor in which he constantly glorified President Koroma and vilified the political opposition. As one of Kabbs Kanu's journalistic apostles, Sherman literally interpreted rebranding to mean going after opposition politicians and independent or pro-opposition journalists with reckless abandon. One of the many pseudo intellectuals that populate the journalistic landscape of Sierra Leone, Sherman decided to spend the last few years aggressively engaged in the deification of Ernest Koroma and the belittling of his political opponents. He engaged in this exercise with such religious fervor, that sometimes you could hardly tell if he was talking about Ernest Koroma, or the Savior Jesus H. Christ himself.
Sherman Going To Church

One of Sherman's targets over the past five years was Sierra Leone's premier tabloid journalist now turned politician Sylvia Olayinka Blyden. Writing in APC times of May 20, 2009, Joseph Sherman had this to say about Blyden "The tyrannical nature of self-styled publishers like Sylvia Blyden and her agents of destabilization (SLPP), has serious implications for the political community and the peaceful citizens of Sierra Leone." (Sherman, 2009) When at the end of last year Sierra Leone's veteran journalist Ibrahim Ben Kargbo was relieved of his ministerial duties in the information ministry, Sherman had this mean spirited thing to say about Ben Kargo, "the heavy artillery of criticisms that is coming from the opposition against President Ernest Koroma for the dismissal of I.B. Kargbo signals that he was working secretly with the opposition in sabotaging the president agenda of development and progress for Sierra Leone.  His dismissal has therefore created a vacuum in the camp of the opposition and they are left with no alternative but to lambast the president for his keen sense of wisdom." (Sherman, 2013) In essence Sherman not knowing the president's intentions, already started to write the political obituary of IB Kargbo, before the poor man had even started to clear his paraphernalia from his office. Unfortunately for Sherman, Kargbo has been reappointed by the President in the capacity of an adviser and to add salt to injury, Blyden was able to hitch a ride on the last batch of Koroma's bloated bureaucracy. Sherman is not a happy man!
IB Kargbo Having The Last Laugh

Sherman viewed the Sierra Leone opposition, particularly the Sierra Leone Peoples Party not as political adversaries,  but as enemies of President Koroma. His basic point in the 2009 rant lambasting Blyden and other non-bootlicking journalists in The APC Times was that journalists in a democracy were the conscience of the public. By displaying impartiality, they undermined the interest of the public by compromising the sources which the public rely on to make judgments about the government. In other words, by constantly praising President Koroma, he Sherman, was performing a great service to the public, while journalists that did not jump on the hallelujah bandwagon were doing some sort of disservice. The fallacy of his convoluted logic seem to have been lost on him.

Sherman was a major proponent of the Cocorioko philosophy that opposing President Koroma was unpatriotic and patriotism in the Sierra Leone context was measured by how loudly or passionately you extolled the celestial values of Ernest Koroma and how talented you were at making bad news from Sierra Leone look good.

Now it seems that poor Sherman, the portly fellow whose Sierra Leone origin has been a matter of some debate, had actually just been a lying, conniving jerk who had hoped to be rewarded with some sort of political appointment after five years of licking the President and Kabbs Kanu's boot so devotedly, that he could not tell the difference between shoe polish and butter. The appointment of the last set of ministers in the president's government without including the name Sherman and the appointment of his arch-nemesis, the shape shifting Blyden as special assistant to the president has finally sent Sherman over the edge and it seems that he needs a serious divine or medical intervention.

In a widely publicized rant that has gone viral on the Internet and social media, Sherman, vented his frustration at his interpreted exclusion from the president's cabinet in an article that could only be described as having been written while drunk and crying into a can of cheap beer. Using a highly inappropriate metaphor, Sherman compared the Koroma government to a baboon that had been helped to go upstairs and was now showing its gratitude by showing its displaying its red buttocks to those that had helped it climbed. In his opinion, the APC diaspora was responsible for ascendancy of Koroma to the presidency and by not giving them jobs he was being ungrateful. The fact that APC diasporans like Alex Mansaray and Conteh had turned out to be mere criminals did not register to this miserable fellow. The type of disappointment that would let anybody write this type of rubbish about their country's President must be deep. Very deep and Sherman may need help.
Sherman's Baboon Buttocks

What Sherman is failing to realize is that talent at spreading propaganda is not a requirement for government service. What did Sherman expect, to be made minister of information because you have the idle time to sit behind a computer blogging and pretending to be a journalist? President Koroma, by appointing these fellows who spend most of their working day on Facebook while drawing hefty government paychecks had already set a bad precedent. That is the reason why this uninfluential political nobody will even imagine that he could be appointed as anything in the government of Sierra Leone.

This rant nullifies Kabbs Kanu's insane notion that a president should only appoint those close to him. Look at how unhinged this creep has become, disrespecting your president because you were not sent as Minister plenipotentiary to Ukraine? Between these sycophants, opposition defectors and friends of the president, how will he ever appoint everybody as minister. The cabinet is already bloated as it is. Now Alieu Iscandri would also want to be made Minister of justice.

Sherman, my advice to you is to take your day job seriously. That letter was immature, opportunistic and naive. What have you done for Sierra Leone that you would expect to be made a minister? Sierra Leone has all its problems, but does not need a government of clowns.You would just be better served taking your baboon with the red buttocks and keeping it in a cage.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Annie Walsh Crisis-News From the Homeland

Annie Walsh Students
There is something going on in Sierra Leone today that is very unfortunate. This small and potentially affluent West African country that was once a magnet for West Africans in the immediate post colonial period, now seems to be mired in one self induced crisis or controversy after another. The sad problem is that in Sierra Leone today, every single decision made in the country that affects more than 25 people is now made on the basis of political expediency. No longer are decisions made on the basis of careful systematic review or made following the prescribed steps of private or public decision making, but is made on the basis of political convenience, pitting one group against another, with very little room for cultured dialogue.

 Even decisions that should have very little to do with politics are influenced by the never ending, mostly unnecessary press releases from State House, and the decision to relocate Annie Walsh Memorial School, the premier female secondary school in the country is bound to be mired in mediocre controversy, mainly because those close to the president do not realize that the decision to relocate such an important school should be a decision for the school executive, their board of trustees, their alumni and the municipality of Freetown. At best, the office of the presidency should be involved in such a debate as a last resort, and only when that is absolutely necessary.
Class of 1909

Many people may wonder why the Segbwema Blogger would want to jump into this debate. Well I happen to have done sixth form and obtained my 'A' Levels from Sierra Leone Grammar School in the early 90s. Grammar School, originally CMS Grammar school is the brother school to Annie Walsh. I can therefore safely state on the basis of this small information that I am not poking my nose into affairs that do not concern me, as I have some emotional attachment to Annie Walsh because of the ties between the school and my supremely esteemed Alma Mater, the Sierra Leone Grammar School.
Inside Campus

Now my own two cents on the issue. I have read the superficial statements on the proposed relocation and have not been privy to the internal discussions. I do also believe that the many Sierra Leoneans who have made statements on this issue, or engaged in passionate and sometimes acrimonious debate on social media, may not also know the genesis of the school issue. The decision on whether to move or not to move Annie Walsh Memorial, a school that is an integral component of the history of Sierra Leone, should only be made with the best interest of the current students and future students in mind. Though sentimental and political variables will invariably be part of the arguments, it is only an honest and impartial assessment of the current needs of the students and future students that should be of primary concern, not of course disregarding the emotional attachment to the school of its famous and influential alumni, but they should be an integral part of seeking a way forward.
The Problem

I believe that the area around Mountain Cut, Kissy Road and Eastern Police that surrounds Annie Walsh Memorial School, must have been a majestic and prime location when the Anglican Church Missionary Society (CMS) decided to move the school to its current Kissy Road location in 1865. Annie Walsh Memorial School has a long history. It had its origins in the establishment of a small school for girls in the mountainside village of Charlotte in 1816 with the purpose of educating young African girls, enabling them to achieve educational excellence on the basis of a strong Christian Foundation.

The current school got its name from the sad story of a young English girl named Annie Walsh who was passionate about embarking on missionary work in Africa. Tragically, she died in an accident on Wednesday, January 31,1855, before realizing her dream of missionary work at the young and tender age of twenty. Her grief stricken parents decided to set up the Annie Walsh Memorial Fund to further her dreams. The Church Missionary Society was able to add to this fund to establish the current day Annie Walsh Memorial School which was moved to its current in 1865. The school was formally named the Annie Walsh Memorial School in 1878 and has become a trailblazer in the education of African women from that time, turning out the first female medical doctor in West Africa, the first female aeronautical engineer in West Africa and the first female graduate of Fourah Bay College, among a list of many other notable  firsts. In 1934 Lati Hyde Forster was the only female student in Fourah Bay College and the first female graduate of this renowned university.

 Most of the early notable women in the administration of the countries of British colonial West Africa were graduates of the Annie Walsh Memorial School and the school has consistently produced some of the best results in international exams in West Africa for a very long time and therefore has a very formidable set of alumni.

The decision to move the school is therefore generating such a  controversy because of its long history, its stellar reputation in Africa and the emotional attachment the formidable alumni have to the current location.
The Environment

In all honesty, I have always thought that the Annie Walsh environment became unsuitable for the school many years ago. The area of Freetown housing the school was a hot bed of crime and many other vices, even when we were growing up on the streets of Freetown. The Mountain Cut and Kissy road environment slid out of affluence into poverty years ago and the area is noisy, full of traffic, with very unsanitary conditions. I have never seen a study of how the impact of all the noise and hub of activity has affected the current students, but even as a student in Freetown many years ago, I always thought that one day it may be a good thing to move the school.

However, I can understand the emotional attachment that current students have to the current location. Some of our best moments in life, some of the best memories are forged in school. I know how I would feel if they told me they were going to move Grammar School, Bo School or Wesley Secondary School, the schools I attended. By pure empathy, I truly do understand why the alumni of AWMS are so emotional about the proposed school move and I think these emotions come from a good place and is natural. I know Bo School boys will riot if they ever decided to move the school, but Bo School is in such a great location , that the move may not be necessary for the next thousand years. Such is not the case with Annie Walsh
Proud Annie Walsh Alumni

However, even with the unsuitable environment, the decision to move the school must be given very serious thought. All the stakeholders involved should have a say in the decision and it should be totally devoid of party politics. There are times when it is necessary to put politics aside and make decisions on the basis of what is best for the key stakeholders. The Key stakeholders here should be the present and future pupils, the staff and alumni, and the school board. The Freetown Municipal Council should also be an important key player in this debate. This should not be a time for APC, SLPP, PDP or PMDC politicking, not at all and those who are introducing politics into this debate are doing a great injustice to the current students and alumni of this great institution.

My own suggestion is that the current stakeholders should get together, identify and honestly define the problem. Is the school location no longer conducive to the learning environment because of the impact of human geography, could things be made better in the current situation or will a move be in the best interest of current and future students. If the school is to be moved, what will be an ideal location, considering that most areas of the capital are already crowded? I believe that these are questions that the key stakeholders should ask. They should then generate a list of alternative pathways to solve the current crisis, debate each alternative and finally settle on a solution which may not be acceptable to all, but would at least have the support of the majority. Politics in debates like this will only poison honest discourse.

I believe that the best course of action will be the one that will make the greatest impact in improving educational outcomes for the crop of present and future students. That is my own take, but unfortunately I do not have any say in the matter. So I am just letting off steam.

COVID-19 Preparedness in Sierra Leone

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