National Secular Songs Nurture Patriotism

……… Says EPA Board Chair Marshall

An appeal has been made by former Superintendent of Montserrado County .and current Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), lion Rupel E Marshall, Sr that schools  complement the singing of religious songs at their events with secular ones so as to grow patriotism among Liberians lie former County Executive made this appeal while serving as Guest Speaker at the Inaugural Program of the Student Council Government of the Salvation and Deliverance Christian Academy on Friday,. February 17, 2023 in Topoe Village Community on the Gardnerville/Japanese Freeway

Hon Marshall stated that, “At most school programs, and certainly at this one, it is observed that only religious songs are sang whether by the entire school body, by an individual or by a group This is highly commendable and acceptable, and is certainly one of the ways to prepare our young people and indeed all Liberians, to develop a Christian life I support religious teachings at schools through lectures, songs, dramas, recitations and through other means And, in addition to this positive approach of promoting human development, I appeal to school authorities to. add the teaching of secular songs and other genres that reference our history, heroes and heroines, our rivers, our forests, our hills and mountains, our birds, songs of our hohda) s, ur regions, our cultural and traditional practices, songs on gender issues, youth issues agriculture, on our wildlife, songs on hope in the future, on love and romance, on defense of our country, on respect for the elderly, those with disabilities, for each other, etc”.

He observed, “I here are many such songs sung by Liberians in the rural parts when they are going to and when on their farms, when they go fishing or hunting, when holding festivities, at play, cooking, doing laundry, songs on romance, on the ancestors, about defense of their villages, about their artists, sports persons, food, etc These songs give sense of belonging, nurture, identity, strengthen culture and tradition, and prepare the people to defend their land, tie them to the past and prepare them for the future. Let us introduce, secular songs at school. They will help develop patriotism in Liberians.”.

The EPA Board Chair asserted “As we prepare to enter the celestial kingdom someday, we must complement religious education with wholesome secular ones Such will definitely allow us to live patriotic lives, loving one another in the kingdom called Liberia, the kingdom called Africa, the kingdom called the world – the terrestrial…”

The officers of the Student Government were inducted into office b Mr. Marcus Gardea, School Secretary. Those inducted were Sammie T. Muhlenberg, President; Archie Hamilton, Vice President; Mark Koso, Speaker; Mercy Harris, TreasUrer; Abubaaokai Balloh, Deputy Speaker; Esther Morris, Finance Minister; Thopmcella M… Tatteh, Senior Senator; Enoch Gonbar, Junior Senator and Tracy Surno, Representative. The Master of Ceremony was Mariamà Kroma. Mark Kosa gave the Welcome Remarks. The Inaugural Program was permeated by series of religious songs including a solo rendered by StUdent Grace Swayah. Hon. Marshall was introduced by Mgozi Felis. Gracing the occasion was the mother of the Student Government President, Madam Beatrice Juludoe.

Student Muhlenberg delivered an ambitious and inspiring Inaugural Address. He pledged to respect the school authority and outlined three projects his administration shall undertake: 1. Installation of two sign boards: that will indicate direction to the school 2. Open a computer lab and 3 Build a basketball court. There were loud applauses when each of these plans was pronounced.

Guest Speaker Marshall, who served as President of the Student Government of the College of West Africa in 1964, when a secondary. Student, commended the students for their leadership stand. He cautioned them that, “In your sojourn at this school, consider yourselves first and foremost as students and don’t let extra curriculum activities such as serving as student leaders or on spouts teams, make you lose focus of your academic work. If you lose focus; ‘your grades, would drop and low grades usually adversely affect ones’ chances of obtaining quality education and becoming a competence and professional person in whatever fledge or she chooses.” .

With reference to the projects earmarked by the student government, Hon. Marshall further cautioned the student leadership, “When I served as a Student Government President nearly sixty years ago, my administration had similar ambitious plans. But, shortly at the beginning of our, term of service, we had a rude awakening by being made to recognize that there was an authority higher than the Student Government which had the power to endorse or cancel all decisions of the Student Government. Our decisions as student leaders were being made in an attempt to fulfill the campaign promises which led our fellow students to vote us into Office. One of such promises was that we would change the hours’ of Funhites from 6pm-8pm to ‘7pm- 10pm. Funnie was the students social’ event held on some Friday nights in the sChool cafeteria characterized by lots of dancing and interactions among girls and boys. The, school authority *toed the Student Government decision to change Funnite hours and throughout our one-year tenure, Funnites remained 6prn-8prn.

“As a result of this experience, on the many occasions that I am given opportunities to address student leaders, 1 always caution them; as I am cautioning you today, to work closely with the school authority and be willing to adjust plans in order to achieve success and harmony during your term in office. Student body, I advise that you calm your anxieties and temper your hopes when your leaders do not deliver on all the campaign promises made if the authority does not approve all the plans. Plan anyhow and accept the reality that the school authority has the last word.”

Hon. Marshall painted a. gloomy picture of a raising inadequate funds through direct solicitations indicating that lots women would be needed to do projects  and that they would be hard to come by. He advised, “There are donor-fatigue and dwindling funding sources Internationally and country-wide. Countries, international organizations, institutions, businesses and individuals increasingly, find it difficult to adequately respond to the avalanche of requests to give and to give and to give because, their bank accounts and their pockets are drying up; the reasons to give may not match those of the requestors and also, potential donors are sometimes apprehensive whether requestors will use the donations for the requested purposes, inter alia. In addition to direct solicitations whether verbal or through letters to individuals, businesses, organizations, etc., become creative and innovative ‘by pursuing additional means to raise the needed funds. I am confident that you will raise all the money needed by doing: 1. Attach to your requests wçll’ written project documents showing costs, purpose and benefits and how the projects will be maintained. 2. Name projects in honor of individuals, institutions, products and events. This is a form of advertisement and it is a successful fundraising means. 3. Render services for fees; show that you want nothing free and that Siou. are not inflicted by dependency syndrome. 4.. Besides, let the school authority, parents and guardians and the community dwellers, take ownership of the projects. Go in the community and collect snal1 small donations. Subsequently, place the names of the donors on the projects. 5. Find out which parents and guardians and community members have the requisite skills to give labor and other contributions to the respective projects. Arrange to use their services at discounted prices.”

Hon. Marshall urged the, students to immediately start the sign boards’ project. “I will regularly visit the construction work and make additional contributions. I will bring others to contribute. The sign boards, will be completed soon.”, .

To begin the fundraising, the body raised about Three Hundred United States Dollars ($ 300US) in cash and pledges. . , .

The Salvation and Deliverance Christian Academy is a faith based institution which runs from nursery to grade 12 and has a total enrollment of 300 plus students. It was founded in 2000 by The Salvation and Deliverance Christian Church. The current Principal is Mr. Iziz

K. Barlue, :a Master Degree holder in Regional Planning. He was absent because of other engagements. He was represented by Vice Principal for Administration, Mr. James Karpeh.

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