Society: Speech and prize giving ceremony at Armitage
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
It is the end of the academic year; the time when most schools review progress of their performance during the course of the year, and deserving students are rewarded for their hard work. The past few months have seen a host of schools holding their speech and prize giving ceremonies; from Saint Peters to Mindaw, Gambia Senior Secondary School, etc.
And last weekend was the turn of one of the oldest of educational institutions in The Gambia, Armitage. Assan Sallah, himself an ex-student of the school, and also the public relations officer of the Armitage Ex-students Association, attended the speech day and he prepared this report.
Armitage Senior Secondary School in Janjangbureh Central River Region, on Saturday held its 81st annual speech and prize giving ceremony, at the school ground.
In his opening remarks, Kaunding Tambedou, Chairman of the occasion, said Armitage had been a good school, and he emphasised that it was still fighting very hard to maintain that level of integrity, despite the numerous problems facing it.
Mr Tambedou hailed President Yahya Jammeh for his unflinching support to the school, alongside well - meaning citizens, institutions, philanthropists and the ex-students association, for their efforts in keeping "Armitage alive."
In his annual report, the principal of the school, Mr Ebrima M Joof, said that education is the corner stone of the development of our social services, adding that it was only hard work and maximum sacrifice that would make its benefits readily accessible to individuals and the nation at large.
"There is every opportunity to further your education, as our man of the millennium, His Excellency, President Alhaji Yahya AJJ Jammeh, is ready to push forward any Gambian to reach the highest level of education, hence his common slogan: "For education, the sky is the limit'," said Mr Joof.
He went on to join efforts in thanking The Gambian leader for his unflinching support to the school, citing President Jammeh's recent gesture in providing two brand new 26-seater, fully air conditioned Hyundai mini buses; 210 bags of rice; and a cash amount of D100,000 as fish money for the students of Armitage, as examples of his magnanimity.
The principal also expressed sincere appreciation and gratitude to The Gambia Ports Authority (GPA), North Broomsgrove High School (Armitage's link school in UK), the West African Tours and Travel, the ex-students association and all others who supported the school in one way or the other.
He revealed that GPA had promised that before September 2008, they would help the school with the building of new classrooms; the provision of furniture; 600 mattresses with mosquito nets; a fencing project for the school premises; mosquito-proof wire gauze for the dormitories and hostel; the construction of walk ways between classroom blocks; ceiling fans in dormitories for the girls' hostel; tiling of the floors of both the biology and home economics labs; a complete renovation of 20 work benches for both the wood and metal workshops; among other facilities.
Mr Joof also expressed delight at the remarkable academic performance of the school in the 2007 WASSCE results.
However, advising the outgoing students to seek further education, the principal also urged them to be good ambassadors of Armitage, wherever they might find themselves in this world.
The guest speaker of the occasion, Mr Kunkung Jobarteh, who is also the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Department of State for Basic and Secondary Education, deliberated on education and its benefits. DPS Jobarteh described education as "a process by which people acquire knowledge, skills, habits, values or attitudes." According to him, education helps a person to become a useful member of society, to develop an appreciation of his/her cultural heritage, and to live a more satisfying life.
He also advised the students to work hard towards achieving their educational goals, while calling on parents to support their children.
The Armitage Ex-students Association, traditionally a key instrument in ensuring the welfare of the students at the school, also presented brand new musical and television sets to the school, as part of their annual contribution to its development.
Karamba Jawla, president of the Ex-students Association, presented the items to the principal of the school, Mr Ebrima Joof, while Assan Sallah, the public relations officer of the Association, delivered a statement onbehalf of the Armitage Ex-students Association.
Author: by Assan Sallah