Seawright Mining Company (SMC) has handed over the first ultra-modern Senior Secondary School, which has been transformed into a polytechnic, to the people of Kenema, Gorama Mende Chiefdom, as part of efforts to support the government’s Free Quality Education (FQE) drive.
The gesture is also a move by the company towards easing the challenge of accessing education in the community.
The multi-purpose ultra-modern polytechnic, which is estimated to cost Le11 billion, was handed over by the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Seawright, Jabulani Mkoko to the Chief of Gorama Mende Chiefdom, Haja Mariama Gasama, through the Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Musa Timothy Kabba, on Saturday 9th October 2021, at Tungie.
The ultra-modern polytechnic consists of an administrative block, an equipped library, nine classrooms in three blocks, a canteen, a hall, 2 equipped science labs, one equipped computer lab, a staff quarter with 6 rooms and two pallors each in 2 blocks, solar panels of 50KVA, 55 desks and chairs, long plastic table, school brass band, 4 freezers with 2 small size, PA system and projector, among others.
Explaining the purpose of the meeting, Hon. Hafij Maada Kanja of Constituency 18 explained how his constituency was having 10 exploration companies but later saw 2 of them remained, noting that out of the 2 companies, Vimetco has also left, leaving Seawright as the only mining in the constituency.
He explained further that the construction of school came about when a request was made by two school pupils during the handing over of an ultra-modern cold room for which Dr Seawright proclaimed meeting that needs.
He said the purpose of the meeting is for Seawright Mining to hand over the facility to the community through the Ministry of Mines, which will in turn hand it over to the government to be utilized as a polytechnic.
The Seawright COO, Jabulani Mkoko, said that as a company, they took into account the human capital development vision of President Julius Maada Bio and the concerns that some of the higher institutions of learning in Sierra Leone do not have all the facilities for a conducive learning environment. He emphasised that for the facility to give out the desired impact, they brought advanced equipment for it to match international standards.
He pointed out that human capital development is not a one-man business but one that needs many hands to make it work, noting that government has the requisite skills to run such a facility.
The SMC COO ended by thanking the community for allowing them to do business in the chiefdom and the country as a whole.
The Minister of Mines and Mineral Resources, Musa Timothy Kabba, said every member of the society was responding to the call of President Julius Maada Bio’s human capital development vision.
He disclosed that over 20% of the country’s money has been invested by the President in education, adding that the capacity was not there for the people to develop themselves but that through President Bio’s vision, they are bringing it.
He encouraged the audience not to take education lightly as the President is not taking it lightly. He thanked Seawright Mining Company for such a facility and President Bio for his educational vision.
He emphasised that when the mind is educated and developed, one will not have any problem developing the country.
“I am proud to have Seawright Mining Company and Dr Seawright as a partner. This is a small company with an exploration licence that have done tremendous things in the country. If we place a ballot box today, Seawright mining will win,” the minister stated.
He described Tungie as a place that has been lightened up as such a structure has made it strategic and that it will be one of the most profitable communities in the country.
Deputy Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Sarjoh Aziz Kamara, commended the Paramount Chief and Dr Seawright for such facility, pointing out that such a move resonated with the dream of President Julius Maada Bio’s human capital development.
Deputy Minister Kamara said that the government has been deliberate with the move to ensure the success of human capital development. He urged the community to take very good care of the facility as the government is playing its part and depended on the community as their partner to play their part.
Besides the ultra-modern polytechnic in Tungie, SMC blueprints are visible in communities beyond their operational areas as the company has undertaken school projects, donated teaching and learning materials, road/bridge constructions, water wells construction, donated billions of Leones to help fight Covid-19, construction of modern cold rooms, empower teachers and construct the first aquaculture system for Njala University, among others.
The signed certificate and keys to the facility were presented to the Chief of Gorama Mende Chiefdom, Haja Mariama Gasama by the SMC COO.