By Samuel J. Kargbo
Members of the Parliamentary Oversight Committee on Education, Science and Technology yesterday quizzed schools proprietors and principals on the poor performance of pupils in their schools.
The proprietors and principals at the parliamentary hearing were from the Peninsula Senior Secondary School, Sierra Leone Muslim Congress, Ahmadiyya Secondary School, Seventh Day Adventist School and Waterloo Secondary School.
Deputy Chairman of the Committee, Hon. Roland F. Kargbo, said they summoned the managers and heads of the schools as a result of feedbacks they got during past oversight visits to schools in the Western Urban and the provinces in 2013. He said they observed during their visits that many government institutions do not implement laws governing the education sector in the country.
He maintained that irregularity in schools was seriously undermining education, and vowed that members will be very robust on principals and proprietors during their next oversight visit.
Other committee members raised the concern of teachers who do not teach pupils very well, but instead extort money from them.
According to the Deputy Director of Higher Education in the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, Nabie M. Kamara, principals and proprietors were not helping in curbing irregularity in schools, as many are guilty and complicit in admitting pupils who did not acquire the stipulated government pass marks to enter junior and secondary school respectively.
He disclosed that the ministry would soon commission the Teaching Service Commission, which among other function will verify the qualification of teachers in the country.
In their joint response to the committee, a representative of the proprietors and principals said their schools lack trained and qualified teachers, especially those who teach the sciences, adding that school subsidies come rather too late thus making it quite difficult to run the schools.