Wed February 6, 2013
Greek Orthodox Mission faces setback
The Greek Orthodox Mission in Sierra Leone has faced a serious setback
after acquiring a 49 -year lease of the Dr. June Holst Ronnes Municipal
School at Skye Street for development from the Freetown City Council. A
recent report by Professor Gbamanja Commission of Inquiry has proved
otherwise, stating that the lease agreement is flawed.
According to AWOKO investigations, the Dr. June Holst Ronnes Municipal
School which comprises of a primary and junior secondary school was
leased to the Greek Orthodox Mission in Sierra Leone for development for
The Greek Orthodox Mission has already constructed a magnificent
two-storey building with sixteen classrooms for offices and staff room
and furnished with an additional administrative block and an orthodox
church aimed at promoting quality education and the Greek orthodox
Christian religion that meets international standards.
However, reports indicate that the National Board of Education is not
happy with the acquisition of the school from the (FCC) by the Greek
Orthodox mission in Sierra Leone.
Maximus M. Bobson Kamara General Manager of the Orthodox in Sierra Leone
in an interview with AWOKO said that, he believes the lease agreement
was not flawed because all legal procedures were followed for the
acquisition of the school.
“We have been paying our annual lease fee of US$4000 to the Freetown
City Council accounts department with receipt to the effect,” he told Awoko.
He stated that he has not yet laid hands on the Gbamanja report and
cannot discuss details of the report further with Awoko.
“We have acquired this place legally and the property belongs to the
Freetown City Council and they have the right to dispose the property to
any institution they want.” He argued bitterly beating his office table
with his hands. He added that the Ministry of Education is still paying
teachers’ salaries at the school as a government -assisted school.
‘We wanted as a mission to be recognized as proprietors and the
government still assisting the school’.
The Ministry of Education has no right to talk about the property but
the administrative operation of the school;
A dusted written letter to the Education ministry informing them about
the Orthodox mission taking over the school was shown to Awoko during
“The mission should not suffer for the Freetown City Council mistakes
because I believe there was no mistake on the lease agreement but may be
some protocols were neglected but the FCC did not violate any law”, he
He said the mission has a legally registered lease agreement between the
FCC and the Orthodox mission and calls on the ministry of education to
discuss with FCC to address the misunderstanding over the school.
Maximus M Bobson Kamara General Manager of the Orthodox in Sierra Leone
alleged that the National Board of Education has a biased ideology about
the school lease.
The school has been renamed the Freetown Orthodox Christian School by
the Freetown City Council at a colorful ceremony, he told Awoko.
A letter from the FCC Mayor signed by the ousted Herbert George-Williams
dated 9th February 2011 which states that the lease agreement have been
concluded for the transfer of ownership or proprietorship and operations
of the former Dr. June Holst Ronnes Municipal School to the Greek
Orthodox mission and the name of the school have now been changed to the
Freetown Orthodox School Primary ad Junior Secondary School and all
correspondences to be addressed to the new proprietor. The letter was
also shown to AWOKO.
However in a reply letter dated 29th June 2011 by the Ministry of
Education also states that the Board has directed that the school
reverts to its original status, bearing the name Dr. June Holst Ronnes
Municipal School and that that board of governors and principal of the
school are to ensure compliance.
Maximus M Bobson Kamara General Manager of the Orthodox mission said the
mission has engaged the Freetown City Council on the Gbamanja report and
they are awaiting their response.
However efforts to get to the Mayor of the Freetown City Council proved
By Saidu Bah