December 20, 2017 By Joseph S. Margai
Deputy Vice Chancellor of Fourah Bay College (FBC), University of Sierra Leone, Prof. Sahr Gbamanja has vowed to ‘support anything that promotes English speaking’. His avowal came after three students of the college won a debate competition organised by the Sierra Leone Debating Council.
Prof. Gbamanja, who was speaking on Monday in his office on campus during the official presentation of trophies won by the students, expressed his delight that his students secured first position and also won best debater/speaker in the competition.
“This was not the first time that students from this university have brought laurels back after competing with other universities. It gives me joy to see our students doing extremely well in such competition. To speak fluent English is very important. I felt very bad at times when I hear university students speaking Krio or other local languages on campus. That’s why I will support anything that promotes English speaking here,” he said.
Prof. Gbamanja, whose science foundation has also been organising debates for pupils in secondary schools in Kono and other parts of the country, expressed optimism that FBC would always continue to perform.
He disclosed that his science foundation has also been awarding laptops and scholarships to the best debaters in order to encourage English speaking techniques and enhance interest in the sciences.
“I have personally travelled with students to Nigeria and we brought back a plaque. Teddy Foday-Musa also took some students to compete in Ghana and they won laurels. We have also been invited to participate in the West African Debate Council in Ghana on 16th January, 2018,” he revealed.
He congratulated the participants and winners, and encouraged them to continue bringing more laurels to FBC.
President of Sierra Leone Debating Council FBC chapter, Augustine Tamba Bona, said four colleges – FBC, Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM), Milton Margai College of Education and Technology (MMCET), and Institute of Advanced Management and Technology (IAMTECH) – participated in the competition.
Bona said the theme was “National Social Security, Good Governance and Democracy”, adding “we were able to articulate the issues very well in a way that we convinced our audience and the judges.”
He added that they have been getting support from various people, chief among them being Prof. Gbamanja.
Bona, a final year student in the Department of Economics, expressed thanks and appreciation to well-wishers, especially Prof. Gbamanja, for allowing them to achieve their dreams.
Teddy Foday-Musa, coach of the student debaters, expressed delight that students were committed to the competition. He also thanked Prof. Gbamanja for his relentless support to the FBC debaters.