First Lady of the Republic of Sierra Leone, Dr. Fatima Bio, has on Friday, 24th February, 2023, warned all male teachers in Waterloo that they should not visit school going girls at their homes after 6pm.
Dr. Fatima Bio, who was speaking at the Bassa Town football field, in the Western Area Rural District, during the distribution of the free sanitary pads to the school going girls, also said some male teachers were in the habit of protecting their girls at home and destroying the future of other’s children.
“Some of them are in the habit of buying substandard phones for school going girls so as to captivate them. But I want to tell you today that you should never fall for that bait. You should never mortgage your future because of substandard phones,” she warned her audience who were mainly school going girls.
She told them, their parents, and teachers, that President Julius Maada Bio wanted to always keep the girls in school, adding that it was on that basis that she has been distributing free sanitary pads so that the girls will not stay at home because they don’t have money to buy sanitary pads when they are on their menstrual period.
“A packet of these sanitary pads will last with you for a period of one year. Menstruation is not a crime. So, you should never be ashamed to go to school whenever you are experiencing it. These free sanitary pads would enable you to avoid using pieces of cloth as alternatives,” she told the school going girls.
She said there were inscriptions on the packets of each sanitary pad which reads ‘marriage is my choice, education is my right’, and urged them to read those inscriptions anytime they want to use the sanitary pads.
“Those inscriptions were messages from President Julius Maada Bio to all school going girls. The president loves you and that was why he introduced and implemented the free quality education because it is your human right to be educated. As a result, the school enrollment, retention, and pass rate of pupils in public exams, have increased significantly,” she told her audience.
The First Lady reminded the crowd that the country is preparing for the general elections, and as a result, bad politicians would always want to take advantage of the vulnerability of young people.
“Bad politicians would soon start coming to you and ask you to fight and stab others for them. They don’t have a message to tell you. They will only give you alcohol and drugs as enhancement to embark on violence. But anytime they ask you to do that, tell them to include their own biological children in such thuggery,” the First Lady warned the young people.
She advised that no one should persuade young people to be involved in election violence, adding that in a situation where they lost their lives, their surviving families would suffer the loss more than the bad politicians.
“To vote does not mean to kill others. If you are annoyed with certain things, please express your annoyance in the ballot box. When there is chaos in a country, the women and girls would suffer seriously. President Bio is busy transforming the country, we should believe in his transformative drives,” she said.
Chairman of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP), in the Western Area Rural District, Dr. Eldred Taylor, said President Bio and the First Lady have been freely distributing sanitary pads to school going girls across the country so as to encourage them to stay in school.
“These sanitary pads will enhance your integrity in school. Ignore the conspiracy theory around the usage of the pads. There have been misconceptions, being peddled mainly by the opposition, that the pads are not safe. But these sanitary pads are safe and are ISO (International Organisation for Standardisation) certified,” he allays the fears of the users of the pads.