Makeni Mayor calls for human rights friendly schools


June 11, 2018

By Ibrahim Tarawallie

Mayor Sunkarie Kabba Kamara

Mayor of the Makeni City Council has called for a collective creation of human rights friendly schools that will promote a fully democratic and participatory approach to school governance, where all members of the school community would be involved in decision-making process.

Sunkarie Kabba Kamara was speaking on Friday, June 8th, 2018, while launching the Human Rights Commission of Sierra Leone’s (HRCSL) Human Rights and Peace Clubs in schools for the northern region.
She said having human rights friendly schools will help in addressing the many concerns and alleged human rights violations associated with the school system, citing sex for grades, extortion of money from students, organised clique gangs and indiscipline, which are prevalent in schools.
While applauding the strides made by the commission in setting up the clubs, Mayor Kabba Kamara said the initiative will boost government’s effort in the full implementation of the free education policy.
“The collective creation of human rights friendly schools that will promote a fully democratic, participatory approach to school governance where all members of the school community are involved in the decisions that affect them is necessary,” she said.
she called for the empowerment of students, teachers and staff to meaningfully and equally participate in the creation and implementation of school policies and practices as according to her, an overall school -wide atmosphere of equality, non-discrimination, inclusion, respect, dignity, participation and students critical thinking and involvement in debates about human rights, accountability and social change is useful.

Also speaking, HRC-SL Chairperson, Rev. Dr. Usman Jesse Fornah, said the establishment of human rights and peace clubs in schools was in line with a circular from the Commission of the African Union, urging member states to facilitate the establishment of such clubs at national levels.

“The current AU commitments affirm the fundamental character of human rights education and acknowledge that it is essential that young people are educated on human rights and fundamental freedoms,” he stated.
He, however, noted that the request coincided with the commission’s human rights education drive to schools initiated by the Directorate of Education, Communication and Trainings in July 2016.
“Human rights protect the dignity and freedom of every human being as states are obliged under international law to respect, protect and fulfill human rights, and to ensure that education is aimed at strengthening respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms,” he said.
Statement was also made by the Paramount Chief of Bombali Shebora Chiefdom, Kasanga Shebora II who committed himself to the administration of justice and protection of, especially the girl child.
The launching in Makeni comes after the launch in Freetown to climax the first phase of the initiative in Secondary Schools.