Sierra Leone Ambassador to the State of Kuwait, Her Excellency Madam Haja Ishata Thomas, on Thursday 25th May 2023 visited the Ansarul Islamic School for Girls in kOIDU cITY, Kono District, Eastern Province of Sierra Leone to pay homage to the school where she served as the pioneer Principal for over 12 years, to engage the school authorities and pupils on the importance of the Free Quality School Education (FQSE).
In the course of her maiden visit to the school where her indelible contributions are still inked on the sands of history, she was accorded a rousing reception. Ambassador Haja Ishata Thomas highlighted the need to strengthen the girl-child education in that part of the country, and to support HE President Bio's efforts in promoting Human Capital Development."I stand here in front of you not only as the founding Principal of this school but also because of the education I struggled to attain at a time when parents refused to send their girl-child to school. In this vein, I will admonish you all to make effective use of the Free Quality Education His Excellency President Bio has rolled out that benefits everyone regardless of their party, tribe and region," She added.
In a jam-packed ceremony attended by past and present pupils, teachers, Board Members and the Fullah Community, Ambassador Thomas informed the gathering that teachers should be very proud of the distinguished service they have rendered to the nation and that the His Excellency being a listening President has been gradually attending to their complaints. "Yes we must be proud and we must be proud to tell the world that the astounding First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, HE Dr. Fatima Jabbie Maada Bio attended this school and let this message inspire you that you can be someone if you have the will," Ambassador Thomas inspired the audience.
In her closing remarks, Ambassador Thomas presented a token of 60 bags of rice and Le10,000,000 (Ten Million Old Notes) to support the teachers of both the Ansarul Islamic Primary, Junior and Senior Secondary Schools for Boys and Girls.
"The Ansarul Islamic School for Girls will continue to cherish your good memories and your excellent contributions to this school. Your legacy will always shine bright and we hope to receive you here more often as you continue to serve as a role model and mentor for thousands of young girls," the Principal enthused.
It could be recalled that Ambassador Thomas during her 12 years stint as the pioneer Principal of the Ansarul Islamic School for Girls not only became a beacon of hope to young girls by providing mentorship and counseling, but also succeeded in promoting the enrollment and retention of young girls in the school, especially at a time when girl-child education was not strongly promoted in the district by wavering off tuition fees and providing support to the less fortunate pupils for the sole purpose of retaining them. Ambassador Thomas also contributed immensely to changing the negative mindset of parents toward girls' education in Kono.
Her astute leadership and forthrightness in promoting Human Capital Development in Kono garnered respect and admiration far beyond her administrative boundaries. She cultivated a sense of dignity, diligence and dedication to duty. Ambassador Thomas nurtured thousands of young girls who under her tutelage had blossomed into State personalities and others serving in different capacities both in Sierra Leone and the Diaspora.