Chinese Ambassador Zhao Yanbo has said that Sierra Leone’s development is tied to education and more premium should be given to education so that Sierra Leone will develop at a faster rate. He made this statement when addressing officials of the University of Sierra Leone on Tuesday.
“Education is the foundation for a country’s sustainable development in its economic, social and environmental dimensions. It must be regarded as a founding element of the right to a decent life and to individual development and as a key factor for reducing poverty and inequalities.”
Amb. Zhao said China went through the same decades ago and today they have done so much that they are now considered one of the richest countries in the world. “Our leaders knew that education was the key and they put so much emphasis on education that China today is the world’s factory, producing almost everything people need.”
The Ambassador said equitable education increases the prosperity of individuals, families and societies. Education gives people the knowledge and skills necessary for occupational integration and boosts productivity, innovation and entrepreneurship.
Amb. Zhao averred that education has the capacity to break the inter-generational cycle of poverty. He said when you go to any poor rural village or urban slum, you will find Africans who share that view. Desperately poor and vulnerable people across the region see education as a pathway out of poverty for their children and they are right.
“This is the reason why my government is helping in the educational sector in Sierra Leone and Africa. We want Sierra Leone to develop, to be able to feed themselves and responsible for their own destiny. That will only happen when majority of the people are educated and understand.”
Ambassador Zhao said talented and skilful youth of the country can double the rate of its growth. “Education that enables individuals to succeed is not just the formal kind. The direct education that one gains through hands-on experience and working with the masters in a field, that goes beyond purely bookish knowledge, prepares you for success.”
Real education begins when you start applying what you learned through formal education to solve real world problems. The discipline, perseverance and ability to apply oneself paves the path to success. The Ambassador said when you travel into the interior of the country you see so much agricultural land that is lying fallow. This land he said must be utilized to produce food and other support to the people.
Ambassador Zhao said they will continue to work with the universities in Sierra Leone to help cut down the illiteracy rate and help increase the middle level man power that is key to the development of any country.
Thursday July 02, 2015