October 9, 2019
By Ibrahim Tarawallie
The Ministry of Technical and Higher Education has presented a budget of Le247.4billion to implement planned activities for the 2020 financial year to promote quality access to tertiary and vocational education through appropriate policies and legislations.
A total of Le141.9billion was allocated to them as budget ceiling by the Ministry of Finance, but they exceeded it by Le105.5billion.
Presenting the budget proposal as well as income and expenditure for the year under review, Deputy Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Dr. Turad Senesie, urged the finance ministry to make available the necessary funds on a timely manner.
“We have done so much in eighteen months. Just give us more funds and we will continue to deliver on our plans. You are going to see a different focus in terms of tertiary education in Sierra Leone. We are going to take our rightful place in terms of knowledge production in the sub-region,” he said.
He stated that the ministry was created with no office space and resources to carry out its mandate, but that an empty building was provided in a very bad shape and has been rehabilitated.
He said they were working hard to make sure that there is quality in production of people from the universities and vocational institutions to compete at the global level.
As part of their achievements, Dr. Senesie disclosed that 118 students were recommended for international scholarships, whilst 2,495 students were awarded government grant-in-aid.
He continued that in collaboration with agencies under their supervision, they were able to send 11 women from the Barefoot Women’s College for solar training in India and expanded access to technical and vocational education.
“We have already rehabilitated and getting 10 technical and vocational institutions in Kabala, Kambia, Tonkolili, Kailahun, Bo Moyamba and Pujehun up and running and operations will commence on 14, October 2019. We are focusing on improving technical and vocational education,” he said.
He disclosed that the Technical Vocational Education and Training policy have been developed and Technical, while Higher Education Acts and laws guiding education also reviewed.
Dr. Senesie said they have succeeded in having all tertiary institutions into the payroll system, adding, “We are working towards stabilizing the institutions by making sure that they have their salaries on time to avert strike actions.