Seku I Sheriff, The Little School Making Big Name in Liberia’s Academic Arena
MONROVIA – When the Head of the National Office of the West Africa Examination Council (WAEC) Dale Gboto announced the results of the 2020/2021 West Africa Senior Secondary Certificate Exams (WASSCE) he asked where was the Seku I Sheriff English and Arabic School located ?
“Where is this school located?” Gbotoe quipped at the press conference in December 2021. This was perhaps the second time Gbotoe had asked such a question.
In the year before, when Seku Ibrahim Sheriff produced ten students in the Division One category, Gboto was curious to know more about the institution.
And this year, when the school ranked up with thirty students in the Division One category, Gboto was even more curious.
Gboto was just one of the many persons asking such question.
The school located in a little corner in the JJY Community on the Japanese Freeway has earned rave reviews from Liberian educational authorities and the public alike for its outstanding performances in WASSCE.
And the public has been in awe of over SIS, as the school is affectionately referred to by its students.
In the walls of the immaculately painted blue and white building, the students and instructors have been putting in what they called uncompromising efforts to name for themselves in the academic arena in Liberia.
Seku I Sheriff, as its Principal Varmuyan Sheriff said, was founded on a humble foundation to serve parents and children in the JJY Community.
“We set up this school to be of services to this community and adjacent areas.”
“We, Isaac Yeah, Sam Cephus Adam Sheriff and I, went from house to house encouraging parents to bring their kids to the school.” Sheriff recounted.
He said since their foundation, they have always endeavored to promote a culture of academic excellence.
“We are setting the pace for academic excellence by having very equipped laboratories for Physics, Biology and Chemistry. And it will interest you to know that we have a Geography lab. ” Sheriff disclosed.
“We are promoting a culture of working independently for our students. And we do this by discouraging our students from spying. “Said, Sheriff as went on to explain, “We reward our teacher five us dollars each when they catch a student spying. And the student caught spying is given a mark of fifty percent in that subject for that period. “
“This method is yielding result as our students put away any thoughts of engaging in spying. “ Sheriff added.
Sheriff also credited the performances of his students to the recruitment of qualified staff and the deployment of quality text books in their library.
“When we put up a vacancy announcement, we make sure we get the best of the applicants. “ Sheriff mentioned.
He also disclosed that despite having a huge enrollment male students they have also strived to provide opportunities for females to thrive.
“We believe that girl child should be given every opportunity to quality education and leadership. “ Added Sheriff.
And Hawa Bamba, a division one performer in the 2019 -2020 WASSCE, said the platform provided by the SIS has motivated her parents and family members to take steps to promote girl’s education.
“From my culture, the Mandingo, girls never used to be given priority when it comes to education but now that has changed. “ Bamba pointed out.
“Today, due to the excellent performances of females in this school, most of our family members are placing emphasis on the education of the girl child. “ Revealed Bamba.
“Even when I was in Grade School, the president of the student government was a female. “ Bamba explained.
She then called on the government to make good on its promise of sending students who scored division one in the WASSCE out of the country for study.
“We are still hoping that this promise will come through because we want to go out and learn and come back to contribute to the development of this country.” Noted Bamba.
But for a school that goes by an Islamic name does it take in students of other faith? Marcus Nibod Jr., the second highest performer in the recent WASSCE said that was a question he wrestled with before enrolling at Seku I Sheriff.
“I had heard about the school’s performance and wanted to enroll but people said that school is a Muslim School and they will change your faith to Islam oh. “Nibod Jr. disclosed.
“I however said let me go there and see for myself. And when I took the entrance I came first.” He further disclosed.
Said Nibod: And since I have been the love shown me has been so special. No one ever told me come and join Islam. All I am told is study your lessons and make your parents proud. “
And today, hard work and study have paid off for me and my mother who has been taking care of me since the passing of my father when I was just 11 years. “
Like Nibod, Samuel Jallah, the Geography Instructor said he had similar mindset when he applied at the Seku I Sheriff.
Jallah said it had to take an extra courage as a non –Muslim to take up an assignment at the school. But when he did, he said he realized it was a place opened to all.
“The atmosphere here has truly mutual and the students have motivated me more. Every time, I see their results and see their marks they make in Geography I celebrate my decision to teach at this school.”
Even as Jallah talked about celebrating his decision to take up assignment at the school, the students at Seku I Sheriff said they will continue to study hard and press on to be celebrated as national academic heroes and heroines. And they said will keep basking in the glory for long time to come.