February 24, 2020
By Jariatu S. Bangura
Head Teacher of the Eva Houston Preparatory Nursery School and National Executive Officer of the Sierra Leone Teacher’s Union (SLTU), has called on the government through the Parliamentary Committee on Basic Education to strengthen the nursery school system as it is the foundation for the free quality education.
Madam Theresa Agnes Saccoh said government would be fighting a losing battle if they fail to place premium on nursery education.
“We need to start with the little ones down there with strong foundation and the nation will once again be the Athens of West Africa in terms of education. The government should reinforce the nursery,” she pleaded.
She said the EU, World Bank and other donor partners are really helping to train for nursery teachers because they need specialised training and career, with motherly care and concern.
She said the tools are not there to help them actualise the training provided for teachers.
She stated that government should find ways to come in and assist nursery schools.
“We need more money in the nursery schools than the primary and secondary schools, so I want to plead that when you are preparing budget for us, we should have more Le50,000/Le60,000 per child because it is difficult to run the nursery than the primary,” she said.
Madam Saccoh commended SLTU for helping female teachers to go to colleges through an initiative called ‘Female Bursary’’ as they are encouraging a lot of women across the country.
“115 female teachers were provided with support for 2019 which is an encouraging number.”
Chairman of the committee, Hon.Dominic Tshombe said nursery schools used to be dominated by volunteer teachers even in the rural areas but when new government took over, they approved and paid certified teachers.
“So, for most of the nursery schools, they have had volunteer teachers with experience but without papers. I want to bring to the knowledge of all present here that there was a sporadic increase in the approval of nursery schools between first term in 2018/2019 academic year and second term in 2019, and even in third term,” he said.
He said government has been supporting nursery schools through the early childhood development under the Ministry of Basic Education.
He stated that the number of nursery schools in the registry of government is less than 200 nationwide, with less than 21 in Moyamba district.
He maintained that for the subsidies, the nursery and primary need more than what they have because they have to maintenance and repair chairs.
He urged that the little resources they have should be used adequately in order to achieve the free quality education scheme.
He called on parents, teachers and other stakeholders to adequately engage in the fight during their various educational engagements.