I am pleased to introduce the above named Foundation to you which I developed in order to popularize science teaching and learning in Sierra Leone. It is duly registered with the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, and also with the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development as a Non- Governmental Organization (NGO).
For years enrollment in science and mathematics in our tertiary institutions has continued to dwindle. Many of our youths who emerge from secondary schools normally possess negative attitudes to science, mathematics and related disciplines and thus they pursue courses that may not be immediately relevant for national development. One of the main reasons why pupils run away from science and mathematics in this country is because they do not have the encouragement and facilities to study the subject.
This is why the Thomas Gbamanja Science Foundation is established to encourage science education through the award of scholarships to the best science students, establishment of science clubs and awarding appropriate incentives to the best science clubs, organizing science debates and symposium geared to demystifying science and mathematics. The Foundation will offer the beneficiaries the capacity and potential to excel and opt for science related careers.
This is also in line with the strive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Sustainable Development Goals generally are a plan of action designed for people, planet and prosperity, which is aimed at ensuring that all human beings enjoy economic, social and technological atmosphere which occurs only in harmony with nature. Thus, tapping from our resources embedded in land, sea, and air can only be acquired through scientific knowledge developed from very effective science teaching and learning in our institutions. This is what this Foundation is set to achieve.
The Foundation was formally launched in Koidu, Kono District, January, 2016 with various science activities and relevant prizes given to pupils. Schools were given computers, and science textbooks for their Libraries, and we awarded scholarships to pupils presented to be the best science students in senior secondary 2, 3, and 4 in eleven secondary schools.
In November 2016, we conducted various activities again in Koidu City, Kono District, and the events were fully covered by the Sierra Leone Broadcasting Cooperation Television. The videos are available. The activities we conducted included the following:-
- Science quizzes
- Science debates
- Science fair
- Distribution of books to pupils and schools
- Award of prizes to winners of various science activities
- Award of scholarships to the best students
Our prizes for students include taptop computers, books and other learning materials, and also desktop computers to schools. In September 2017 we will be conducting these activities in Makeni for schools in Bombali District. We plan to conduct the activities in all the Districts Eventually, and then make the exercise a national affair.
Professor Sahr P. Thomas Gbamanja