On Monday, 9 February 2015 Mrs. Amie Sillah Sarr delivered a speech in relation to the Book Week Celebration held from the 9th to 13th February, 2015 organized by the A Better Chance (ABC) Learning Centre at Bakoteh.
“Children are our precious stones who should be helped to develop physically, emotionally, intellectually, psychologically, morally and spiritually.
The adage says:
“Train your tree when it is young.”
“What an elder sees sitting down a young person cannot see climbing on top of the tallest tree.”
Amie indicated that as the topic depicts parents should “Encourage Curiosity and Open the Doors to Growth and Creativity.”
She cautioned that parents should not impose careers on their children but should allow them to air out their aspirations. “It is not what you like but what motivates the passion and creativity of your children”
I would like to share this story with you.
A man who was a top civil servant during the colonial era has only one son in the midst of six daughters; he did not care what the daughters would eventually become but was particular about the future career of his lone son. He wanted him to become a doctor but the son was interested in another profession.
Amie explained how the father ridiculed his son and pressurised him to change his course. Failing to gain motivation from doing what the father wanted gave rise to difficulties which could only be overcome when the son was allowed to pursue his chosen field. He excelled in his services to the Gambian people and country. He was a role model who mentored many to become what they were in those thorny days just before our independence.
Amie also mentioned how her eldest brother the late Ebou Madi Sillah an artist of international repute had his talent suppressed by parents who considered his artistic skills to be a source of bad omen. He had to hide, at the expense of his own development to exercise his passion.
As parents we have to discover what our wards/children are best at, encourage their curiosity and not ask them to shut up when they ask questions; we should encourage it and provide the enabling environment for them to excel; that is how nations could produce young inventors, thinkers and philosophers. Parents have to start now at home to provide the toys which would enable the child to build, use one hands and brain to develop cognitive skills.
The proverb: I hear, I forget; I see, I remember and I do, I know. Let us help our children/ward hear, see and do and make them grow to be geniuses!
I love reading and writing at an early age. Hence it is no surprise that I become a Columnist/Writer and Author. I used to advocate for fair play when I was young. Hence, one could understand why I became a Gender Activist and advocate for a society to right the wrongs meted at half of its population the girl children/women.
Opening the Doors to Growth and Creativity, parents should encourage gender mainstreaming; encourage equal access to growth and creativity to both boys/girls.
At the school, teachers, caregivers should open the doors to growth and creativity to both boys/girls. Positive competition and partnership should be encouraged so that both boys/girls will be brother/sister keepers. This will help create new African women/men who will develop our country, the Gambia, Africa our continent and the world at large to higher heights.
To the children boys/girls you have rights but rights go with responsibilities; you have the right to life, growth, peace, health, education, good nutrition, recreation, good drinking water, sanitation and a safe environment.
You have the responsibility to go to school and read your books, respect the authority of parents/teachers/elders; be kind, polite and respectful; ask questions and persist for answers; explore and learn; respect diversity and don’t discriminate, be generous to everyone then you’ll be blessed, loved and respected in return. Don’t fight or quarrel but dialogue to nurture the culture of peace. Report to teachers/parents/elders when molested, say no to exploitation, marginalization and oppression expose paedophiles to parents/teachers and trusted elders at home or in the community.
As a society we have to encourage curiosity and open doors to growth and creativity to both sexes through all levels of education from nursery to university through to the work and market place.
All types of media to create an open society to promote democracy, human rights, rule of law, transparency, and secularism. Probity and accountability to create new human beings who sow peace, tolerance, love, respect for diversity.
All aspects of the child’s life should encourage curiosity and open the doors to growth and creativity by encouraging the children to read, read, and read to know themselves, their country and world in order to carve their destiny.
The ECD Facilitators are urged to use thematic approach in school where all the six learning areas are taught .Scientific research outlines that brain cells are coordinated as well as multiple skills acquired as it nurtures the natural gift in each child and allows him/her to grow and reach his/her potentials.
With these few wise counseling from a mother, a friend, a confidante and Granma, Amie Sillah Sarr declared the Book Week commemoration opened.