August 6, 2018
By Elizabeth A. Kaine
President Julius Maada Bio will launch the free educational package on 20th August just ahead of the reopening of schools in September, according to Minister of Primary and Secondary Education Alpha Osman Timbo.
Minister Timbo was speaking to newsmen last Thursday at the weekly government press briefing at the Ministry of Information and Communications at Youyi Building in Freetown, adding that they have completed the verification in schools and the president’s flagship free education scheme would start on 17th September.
Ina addition, Minister Timbo revealed that over 40,000 pupils were not allowed to take the West African Senior School Certificate Examination 2017 because they were attending schools that have not been approved by government.
However, he told newsmen that the affected schools have been approved and that the move would further complement the government’s free and quality education scheme.
The minister noted that allocations have been set aside for all government and government assisting schools across the country in a bid to ensure that all pupils benefit from the free and quality education.
“We are confident that the free and quality education will be successful because the government has everything in place” he assured, adding government would construct new classrooms and buildings across the country to avoid over-crowding in classes.
“This government, under President Bio’s New Direction, our aim is to eradicate the high level of illiteracy that is already a sickness in our country and we will do all what it takes to achieve it,” he declared.
Free and quality primary and secondary education is the flagship programme of President Bio’s New Direction administration as articulated in his manifesto and maiden speech to Parliament. The programme has already generated a lot of financial and moral support from donors, while the country has allocated billions to provide free tuition, books and uniforms to thousands of primary and secondary school pupils.