By Joseph S. Margai
The President Julius Maada Bio has told residents of Rotifunk in the Bumpeh Chiefdom, Moyamba District, Southern Sierra Leone, that he would not allow anyone to rape women and girls in Sierra Leone, noting that anyone that attempts will face the full force of the law.
“Last academic year’s West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE) result has proved that the girls can do better if they are not forced into early marriage. In that exam, two girls from Kenema District topped the whole country, which tells you that their place, at their age, is in school,” he said.
President Bio told his audience that this is the best time to go to school in Sierra Leone because there is free tuition, there are school buses, there is a school feeding program, and there are free teaching and learning materials, among many other benefits.
He said the women should not be raped by anyone because they are key players in the development of the country, adding that his willingness to create a platform for women to be actively involved in the administration of the state was indicated in the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) Act 2022.
The GEWE Act 2022 stresses that there should be 30% representation of women each in cabinet, parliament, Local Council, Civil Service, political appointments for ambassadors/High Commissioners, among others.
“You will only be able to contribute immensely to the growth of Bumpeh Chiefdom if you are educated. Frankly, I will assure all the girls that the only gap that stands in their way to greatness is education. Once you have acquired education, you will come back home to contribute positively,” he told the school going pupils who were present in the meeting at Rotifunk.
President Bio told his audience that they have a government that cares and would do everything to facilitate development in the country, adding that to make a country, one must start with education because it is the pillar on which a solid state will rest on.
Paramount Chief of Bumpeh Chiefdom, Charles Caulker, thanked President Bio for his relentless effort in educating Sierra Leonean children, noting that his chiefdom has benefitted immensely from the government’s free quality education.
Chairman, Moyamba District Council, Joseph B. Bogba, disclosed that 118 teachers from Bumpeh Chiefdom were given pin codes by President Bio’s government in the last four years, adding that 61 schools were approved during that same period.
“Before President Bio came to office in 2018, there was no WASSCE centre in the entire Bumpeh Chiefdom. But this government has now established one here which has subsequently removed the burden on parents and pupils to take the exams in farther places from their chiefdom. We have established one early learning centre in this chiefdom,” he said.
He disclosed that President Bio’s government has established nine peripheral health units (PHUs) in Bumpeh Chiefdom and given pin codes to 36 nurses, revealing that the PHUs now have solar suits that provide electricity to keep the vaccines cold at all times.