March 7, 2017
Former Minister for Tourism and Culture in Sierra Leone, Peter Bayuku Konteh has, in an interview with journalists in Freetown advised that to be able to lift the country up and from the dungeon of underdevelopment, his “compatriots in national and personal services to the country should invest tremendous development efforts in the education sector of Sierra Leone”.
Mr. Konteh, himself a former chairman of the Kabala-Koinadugu District Council before becoming Tourism and Culture minister of the country said, “Through my NGO called Little Step 2000, I managed to build more than ten schools, a boarding home for some 90 blind kids in Kathombo settlement in Kabala, IT centers, capacitating the community radio station and completed several infrastructural development projects associated with the educational advancement of children, mainly in the north of the country”.
Konteh is an Italian trained sociologist with a bias in education. According to him, “It has always been my view that we must not lose sight of the aphorism that we must catch these kids young if they must be useful to the greater society in the near future.”
Though a catholic Christian, Konteh constructed a 100-capacity mosque for Muslim worshippers in Wara Wara Yagala chiefdom and another in Yagala Township for 500 Muslims, all in the Koinadugu District. After building the first park and market place for the Yagala community, he also constructed a Catholic church capable of holding 500 worshippers.
Mr. Konteh says, “If pursuing human development at every educational level is a sin, then sure enough, I will go to hell”. Coming from two peasant parent-farmers from Yagala in the Koinadugu District, the development mogul is of the view that developing the education sector of Sierra Leone, at local and national levels, will go a long way to help lift the country from the malaise of underdevelopment and poverty.
“In order to make our educational and certificate acquisitions be meaningful to us and the entire human development sectors of the country, the science and arts educational sectors of our schools and colleges must be attuned to modern educational facilities such as the unavoidable use of computer information systems,” Mr. Konteh advised.
Asked how he has been able to do all these great development projects, Mr. Konteh said he has great friends in and outside of Sierra Leone with big human hearts. “Such friends,” he said, “have been generous, sincere and human-oriented in their giving to the cause of the poor. And I have managed those funds without any blemish, as has been proved by Sierra Leone’s anti-graft commission.”