June 7, 2021
The overarching objective of the National Commission for Democracy (NCD) is to create an enlightened, peaceful, democratic, and just society in which citizens are empowered to enjoy their civil and human rights and discharge their responsibilities with an attitude conducive for national unity and development. It is in fulfilment of this objective that the Commission decided to embark on the flagpoles project to reach out to pupils to enhance their understanding of nationhood with the primary aim of instilling in them civic consciousness.
The Commission has commenced the handing over of 32 galleries for flagpoles in addition to the poles and National Flags with other civic education materials to learning institutions across the country. The handing over for this phase started on 24th May 2021 with the Ag. Chairman of NCD, Madam Angela Marian Samu, leading the team even as they encouraged the authorities of the schools to effectively use the materials to inculcate the right civic knowledge in their pupils. The Ag. Chairman also used the occasion to officially launch Democracy Clubs in Schools that will be used as conduits to provide civic education for pupils in the schools through their peers.
In her presentation, the Ag. Chairman noted that the flagpoles project was designed to help reorientate the minds of pupils to prepare them to be good citizens when they grow up into adulthood. She said the flagpoles project consist of flagpole galleries, roll-up stands with the National Anthem, the National Pledge, and the Public Seal (Coats-of-Arm), and other civic education materials that include the National Symbols intending to aid pupils’ understanding of civic education in the context of Sierra Leone.
The Ag. Chairman, Madam Marian A. Samu, elucidated the meaning and significance of the National Flag and used the occasions to underscore the need for citizens to be patriotic and nationalistic by putting the national interest above all else.
She encouraged teachers to provide Citizenship Education for their pupils with the need to enhance their nationalistic and patriotic instincts to contribute meaningfully to the socio-cultural, political, and economic development of the country.
Madam Samu emphasized the significance of the National Flag, noting that the Flag is one of the Country’s national symbols representing every Sierra Leonean regardless of tribe, region, or religion, hence the need to be united in promoting the national interest.
The Ag. Chairman encouraged pupils to studiously read the National Anthem and the National Pledge to internalize the meaning of the verses to increase determination in pursuing the country’s development agenda.
In his Keynote address, the Resident Minister, Eastern Region, Mr. Andrew Ansu Fatorma, applauded NCD for delivering on the flagpoles project even as he acknowledged the relevance of the project for learning institutions. Mr. Fatorma encouraged pupils to learn about the National Symbols and adhere to the rationale for their creation. He called on citizens to be patriotic and serve their country with an attitude conducive to national unity and development. He encouraged citizens to not only ask about what their country has done for them but to also ask about what they have done for their country intending to increase their resolve in serving her with due diligence.
In his address, the Commissioner for the Eastern Region, Mr. Momoh Bockarie, expressed his joy for handing over the flagpoles. He noted that the Commission has a duty of providing capacity for the citizenry, part of which is to build a sense of patriotism and positive mental attitude to empower them to participate positively in both local and national development.
He noted that awareness-raising is embedded in the National Symbols which is why the Commission has decided to include materials on the National Symbols into the package of the flagpoles project so that pupils in the various schools that are fortunate to benefit in this phase will have the opportunity to learn.
Addressing the Pupils, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for Democracy, Mr. Morrison Gboyor, noted that the Project in this phase is providing flagpoles for 32 schools across the country. He informed the pupils that the Project is fully funded by the Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Finance.
The Executive Secretary applauded the contribution of the Former Chairman, Dr. Abubakar Kargbo, and the Former Commissioner for the Northern Region, Bai J. Conteh, whom he recognized for their invaluable role in the Project. Mr. Gboyor encouraged the pupils to take their work seriously even as he introduced them to what he referred to as the four As – Admission, Attendance, Activity and Achievement.
He further encouraged pupils to be punctual and engage effectively in the activities of the school so that they can achieve their objectives at the end of their courses. He noted that learning is a continuous process and needs perseverance for one to attain the requisite achievements.
The principals of the various institutions that benefited in this phase of the project thanked the Commission for providing them with the flagpole galleries and the other civic education materials. They committed to using the materials for the purpose for which they are provided and also promised to take good care of the items.
Some of the Schools that benefitted from the Project in the latest phase include RC Model Primary School, Gerihun Road, Bo City, St. Andrews Secondary School (UCC) Bo City, Sierra Leone Church Primary School, Rogbere Junction, Marampa Islamic Secondary School, Lunsar and the St. James Secondary School, Kenema.