By Kebba Secka / Kebba Mamburay
More than eleven Schools within the Banyaka cluster, gathered at the St Francis School ground in Kunkujang Mariama in the West Coast Region, to observe and celebrate the country’s 54th Independence anniversary. The day was charaterised by a march pass of participating Schools, led by the Scout band from Sanyang village. The occasion was witnessed by Fr. Peter Wojnarowsk, the new manager of St. Francis Upper and Senior Secondary School, Fr. Carlos, and parents from all walks of live.
Deputising for the guest speaker, the Chairperson of St. Francis School Momodou K.E Touray, dilated on the significance of the day, reflecting on when the Union Jack of the British was lowered and the Gambia’s flag raised. He spoke at length on the significance of inculcating discipline in students. ”Discipline is a tool that will enable you to achieve whatever you want,” he advised students, and told them to respect and follow the instructions of their teachers, as well as to aim high to become better citizens.
Father Peter said he is newly posted to the School as manager; that before he was posted, he headed a Technical School in Ghana for seven years; that he has a vast experience in terms of School management and administration, and will be using this knowledge to bring the back the good qualities that the School known for. ”I have started working on some modalities that will enable us to regain the good grades the School was known for,” he said in an interview after the occasion. Fr. Peter said he would not able to talk much on Gambia’s Independence Day because he is new in the country, but will use the opportunity to appeal to students, to take their work seriously, in terms of punctuality and regularity; that regularity and punctuality are basic tools that enables teachers to meet their instructional target hours.
Patrick Mendy, the Head Boy of St. Francis Senior Secondary, spoke on the history of the day describing it as the moment when Gambians had the right to decide on their own and implement what they decided.
”The day marked the end of colonial rule and gave birth to our sovereignty,” he posited. He mentioned the efforts of the founding fathers of the country’s Independence such as Edward Francis Small and his fellow politicians, who fought for the liberation of the country from colonial rule. He used the occasion to encourage and advise his fellow students to respect their teachers as alluded to by the guest speck, Mr Touray.
”To my fellow students, I urge you to work hard in order to achieve good grades for a brighter future,” he concludes.