By Abdulai Braima…..
Speaking to a world-wide audience from the radiant halls of a heavily fortified and appropriately sanitised Southwest London location, HE president Julius Maada Bio was emphatic about the need to “give everyone a fair chance” and to “take everyone along” on the great educational journey that seeks to inculcate knowledge, build skills, connect societies and better the lives of people.
The Evolution Centre in Battersea is an iconic spot that is nestled behind the deep green foliage of a sprawling stunning park, gushing with fountains and a serene lake. Battersea used to be the home of the famous power station that provided electricity to light most of London.
On the 29/07/21, DAY 2 of the GES, the conversations around the purpose, the power and the direction of education were lighting up the discourse on all fronts and beaming hope to the rest of the world.
Simmering through the reassuring solidity of the many poignant speeches, made against the harrowing backdrop of an expanding climate catastrophe and an unfolding pandemic, was a steady flow of palpable passion. The thrust of the submissions consistently re-echoed the view that the children of this world need our help and we must start by properly EDUCATING ourselves on the issues confronting us!
There is an urgent need to create fresh templates and to craft new methods that could address old burning questions: Education should no longer be a privilege for the rich or a fenced-in yard reserved for the abled BOYS; the classroom should never again be confined to the inside of concrete walls or solely defined by paper and pen. We can and should be able to learn in all places, using all channels. Covid-19 is smashing down our conventional barriers, turning our iron-clad expectations into extensive disruptions and forcing us to cultivate new possibilities.
This year’s Global Education Summit did not just register actual and potential successes for Sierra Leone, (that would be made public in a short while), it scored a meaningful victory for the world.
For a start, the fact that a partnership that had billed itself to raise $5 Billion in 5 years, it was quite remarkable that on just this one day of the summit the meeting was able to raise $4 Billion dollars. The tone of the global CONVERSATION is also changing and the SUBSTANCE pegging that conversation to the roots is building up!
One thing worth pointing out here is that the FREEE QUALITY EDUCATION of HE President Julius Maada Bio is being beautifully and seamlessly implanted into the essential paradigm of the GLOBAL FUNDING FOR EDUCATION effort, not just thematically but realistically.
In the wake of this disruptive pandemic, the world is coming together to give new definitions to progress and the Global Education Summit is one sure spot where ideas merge to create new pathways for the inclusive future that the world craves or r at least advocates.
As Sierra Leoneans, we should be very proud of the quality of our representation on a platform that is designed to help map out that better future!
Only exceptional leaders can put the long-term vital interests of their people, at troubling times like this, to ensure that they are personally present where the country can be counted and the seeds of progress planted and nursed!
Make no mistake, a quiet global revolution is taking place within our world systems. Covid-19 has brought death and disruption to the world, but it has also tossed at us the opportunity to create something fundamentally different and potentially fairer.
Since coming to power, HE President Julius Maada Bio has firmly placed EDUCATION not just at the heart of our national conversation but also in the centre of our engagements- national and international.
We all know that ILLITERACY and IGNORANCE are big pullback factors in the effort to achieve real national development.
The path to progress lies in EDUCATING EVERYONE. And that EVERYONE should include, principally, the Girl Child. That is why president Bio took the unique opportunity, presented by this world summit, to join selected colleagues and other serious global players to raise his voice on behalf of our country! It is always good to be seen and to be heard where things matter especially so on subjects that really matter.
It is a national duty for all Sierra Leoneans to support the very commendable efforts being made by our president to salvage our long-lost reputation as the golden seat of Education in Africa, and to propel our nation into the forefront of an international conversation that is increasing the volume on the calls for inclusivity and the need for working to ensure fairness in all areas of human endeavour.
Let us ‘Raise our Hands’ for EDUCATION and support the president in his honourable battle against ignorance, illiteracy, gender discrimination and general victimisation.
We thrive when we strive in the direction of righteousness. The New Direction is moving Sierra Leone in the right direction!
RAISE YOUR HAND FOR EDUCATION!
Copyright: Abdulai Braima