The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School Education, Sierra Leone, has in a press release dated 8th February 2022 banned the selling of Valentine’s day memorabilia on school grounds. This comes in less than a week to Valentine’s Day.
The Ministry said they have been receiving feedback from their School Quality Assurance Officers which indicates that street vendors have “invaded school entrances and perimeters and are selling Valentine’s Day regalia and merchandise”. The Ministry continues by saying the activity (selling of Valentine’s Day regalia and merchandise) has the potential of breaching the peace and tranquillity within the schools, and they believe it may send out wrong signals to the students as most of them have little or no knowledge about the essence of Valentine’s Day.
In Sierra Leone, during the period of Valentine’s Day, you would see a tirade of street vendors and traders selling valentine gifts cards, flowers, perfumes, and many more to students in Primary, Junior Secondary and Senior Secondary Schools. You would see these traders hanging around the school premises with a bunch of Valentine’s Day merchandise. In most cases, those young students (boys and girls) would be in the forefront to buy these gifts for their loved ones — it could be their girlfriends, boyfriends, family members, or best friends Alias ‘besties’.
Even though Valentine’s Day is celebrated worldwide, the Ministry is aware of the misconception of this day amongst young people in Sierra Leoneans. Most of these young people, they would choose to have sex with their partners as a means to celebrate the day; or in most cases, those who are virgins would choose to break their virginity just to please their peer lovers all in the name of celebrating Valentine’s Day.
It’s good to share the love on Valentine’s Day, but school-going pupils should know the true essence of celebrating Valentine’s Day and should, on that day, refrain from sexually related activities that would hinder their studies and future.