Dear Hon. Mohamed Bangura,
Like most Sierra Leoneans within and without Sierra Leone, I listened your interview by Veronique Edwards about two days ago and I thought I should vent out some of the concerns of your compatriots.
Mr. Minister, about a month ago after the Miss Salone beauty pageantry where the Queen’s language was consistently disparaged, Sierra Leoneans came to a conclusion that our educational system is headed for glorious ruins. Similarly, few weeks ago, some NPSE pupils were pictured toting chairs on their heads en route to their examination centres.
But about a decade ago, standards were not so disgraceful as I can vividly remember the Saturday morning radio encounters between Hon. I. B. Kargbo of the APC and Prof. Septimus Kaikai of SLPP sparring over national issues in the enchanting elegance of the English Language.
No matter where one stood then in the political spectrum, you would be captivated by their informative and educative contributions. Those two at different periods occupied this ministerial position you now occupy and I tell you they were always mesmerizing international broadcasters with their ability to speak the English Language in graceful employ.
Look at even the erstwhile Minister of Information—Hon. Alpha Khan, everybody knew most of his utterances were far from the corridors of the truth but they were so woven in linguistic finesse that they could pass any day for the truth.
Mr. Minister (leh wi tok true normor), your performance at the said interview did not measure up to our national pride in the English language eloquence; yes we are a poverty-stricken nation; we are a people let down by political platitudes and failed or failing policies but our English speaking competence has been unrivalled in the sub-region.
Your responses during the interview, aside being dishonest were shallow—lacking in substance and your pronunciation (others prefer mispronunciation) of some of the words were simply elementary. I know you are used to Asma’s ‘Good Morning Salone’ (which happens to be one of my favourite radio programs) where you often brag in Krio in high-pitched debate. The BBC is different Sir; you don’t just air out misleading information, you have to do so at least grammatically if you can’t do elegance. Maybe you should advise yourself to stick to local platforms while Mr. Bayratay or someone else safeguard our national pride.
People say we need an overhaul of our educational system, I think so too and if the Minister of Education was looking for one last reason to rescue our educational system, your interview is just enough to tickle immediate action. Well maybe, just maybe, the Minister of Education might not have noticed any grammatical or linguistic wrongdoing after all.
Patriotic son of the Soil
(A Renaissance leader)