By Mohamed Massaquoi
A leading Sierra Leonean businessman based in Kenema, eastern Sierra Leone, has awarded 170 scholarships to pupils of various primary and secondary schools in Kenema and Kailahun districts, to help vulnerable children in that part of the country.
The Chief Executive Officer of TAS Stores and Sky Kay Diamond Office, Ahmin Skaikay said it is unfortunate that some parents who are yearning for quality education for their children cannot easily afford the cost of education in the country, the reason, he said, for the scholarship awards.
He said that though it is the responsibility of government to provide the enabling environment for quality education in the country, yet humanitarians and business people should come to the aid of needy children, nothing that this is not the first time he has rendered help to Sierra Leonean children, especially in the education sector.
“We are the same people and we must be helping ourselves to promote education in the country. Education is the bedrock towards the social, economic and political development of our country. For the past years I have been donating and giving out scholarships to children, for this year, I am awarding pupils from 14 primary and secondary schools in Kenema and Kailahun districts; in addition I am planning to give another set of reading and learning materials to schools so that teachers will impart the appropriate knowledge to these children,’’ he said and appealed to other organisations and individuals to continue supporting children in order to strengthen quality education in the country.
Member of Parliament representing constituency 10, Hon. Francis A. Kaisamba, said he was pleased to be part of the ceremony as the scholarships would significantly help the children to continue their education without any hindrance.
Hon. Kaisamba said he has been working hard with other stakeholders to promote education in his constituency and that he is always pleased to work with organisations to promote education.
“We want to thank our brother for the humanitarian gesture to our brothers and sisters in our communities,” he said.
Parent for one of the recipients, Aminata Kamara, thanked Mr. Skaikay for the support as many children have dropped out of school because their parents cannot afford to pay their school fees.
‘’We will pray for Skaikay for supporting us and our children. We want the government as well to improve on the standard of education. We want our children to have quality education so that they can take care of our old age,’’ she concluded.