Former Presidential Affairs Minister, Momodou Sabally, has urged young people to be law-abiding and to respect law enforcement officers. He made this remarks during his commencement speech at Sanyang Senior Secondary School, where the first batch of senior secondary school students (since its inception) graduated Saturday, June 30, 2018.
Speaking on the topic “The Consequences of Being Unlettered in Modern Times”
Sabally said: “American Philosopher Henry David Thoreau who once said “a written word is the choicest of relics!” If this is true, and I believe it is true; how can we appropriate the rich and enriching relics bequeathed to us by our forebears if we are unlettered? “Books are the treasured wealth of the world and the fit inheritance of generations and nations.” How do we meaningfully inherit these treasures if we cannot read them.
“The consequences of illiteracy are many and harmful in several respects. As well as affecting illiterate individuals themselves in their daily lives and often jeopardizing their future, this scourge has a significant effect on society, both socially and economically.”
“The realities of our modern times, characterized by information communication technology, are such that education will no longer just be a key to success. It will also be a key to life itself. Without it, an individual will not be able to function or participate in the activities of life. The circumstances of modernity will relegate such an individual to the sidelines of life.
“I was recently watching a video of American preacher and prominent intellectual Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, who quoted Frost, saying “Life is a series of disciplines and the first one is the acquisition of language, words…”
“And speaking of the importance of being lettered language is based on rules – grammar- if you cannot follow the rules of language how can you follow the rules of your country? We must be disciplined in the use of language. You cannot write or speak the English language or any other language in an effective manner without following the rules. Do not listen to those people who spread the fallacy that grammar is not important so long as your message is being understood. How can your message be properly understood if you do not follow the rules of communication inherent in such rules as grammar? This is a lazy approach to the acquisition of knowledge. You cannot gain useful knowledge without being disciplined. Certainly “Power comes from discipline. A civilization that is undisciplined will never be a powerful civilization…”
Sabally exhorted the graduating students to take their civic responsibilities seriously, to be law-abiding active citizens in the process of nation building and to maintain respect for law enforcement officials who strive day and night to serve all Gambians.
Sabally also sponsored a prize in Honour of Alhassan and Sainey Darboe of Gunjur (currently living in the US). The prize was awarded to the best overall student in Honour of the twin brothers who exemplify excellence in academic and professional pursuits.