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Reflections on St. Edward’s Secondary School of Sierra Leone

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Reflections on St. Edward’s Secondary School

By Professor Alusine Jalloh
Founding Director, The Africa Program
The University of Texas at Arlington

As we celebrate the 95th anniversary of the great St. Edward’s Secondary School, I look back with humility and gratitude to the watershed general meeting of Old Edwardians I convened and chaired at the Institute of Public Administration and Management (IPAM), University of Sierra Leone, building at George Street in December 2006. At the time, I was a visiting professor teaching a course on entrepreneurship to Master of Business Administration (MBA)students at IPAM.

The attendees at the meeting, which brought together three generations of Edwardians, included Dr. M.E.M. Dumbuya, President of the Sierra Leone-based Old Edwardians Association; Principal J.P. Kamara; Principal Walter Davies; classmates: Abdul Rahim Mujtabah, Gibril Saccoh, and Desmond Woode; the late Dr. Amadu Fadlu-Deen; Patrick Dangawali; the late Morseray Fadika; Ramzan Bangura; Brima Keita; Foday Bangura, "Bangso;" W.P.A. Johnson-Cole; Joseph Cole; Mohamed Turay, "Mr. Med;" as well as members of the School’s band and football team.

The meeting was one aspect of my long-term efforts, including founding of the Texas branch of the Old Edwardians Association, to work collaboratively to change the widespread public perception of the School as a "Rebel School," and to reposition it as a national leader in education. During my many business trips to Sierra Leone, I persistently urged Abdul Rahim, Gibril, and many of my Freetown-based classmates to consider contesting for the Association’s presidency to infuse youthful energy into its activities. Gibril did successfully compete for the position, and has demonstrated exemplary leadership.

More importantly, the meeting provided the catalyst for the rebirth of the School. In a personal correspondence to me dated 8 March 2007, Principal Kamara wrote, "After that successful general meeting with the Old Boys in Freetown, there has been a marked improvement in their attitudes. Because of your wise counselling words, we were able to raise a reasonable amount which we managed to utilise in the production of the 85th Anniversary package."

To date, there have been major improvements in the School’s infrastructure, discipline, and academics. However, more needs to be done, particularly the pursuit of academic excellence. Many thanks to all those who have contributed to the School’s success.
In closing, congratulations to the global family of Edwardians on this important milestone in our School’s history. To the Edwardians who have passed away, may their souls rest in peace. And may God bless our beloved Alma Mater - St. Edward’s Secondary School!

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