April 2, 2020
By Hassan Gbassay Koroma
The Chairperson of Sierra Leone Teaching Commission, Staneala M. Beckley, has disclosed that the commission currently has over 33,000 teachers on the government payroll, with the number still increasing.
“We hope that not too long from now we will have a larger number of teachers on the payroll to respond to the needs of the free quality education initiative,” she said.
She made the disclosure yesterday, Wednesday April 1st, at the commission’s headquarters, Edwards Street in Freetown, whilst addressing over ten media houses across the country about the activities of the commission
She said the commission is now partnering with the media to popularize it work, noting that education is a public interest issue and that every institution in the country has a role to play to ensure that the Free Quality Education initiative becomes a success.
She said the commission was established by an Act of Parliament in 2011, but came into being and fully functional in 2017 and 2018,adding that it is not a strange institution because their work is now seen everywhere across the country.
She said the commission has come a long way since its establishment and that in the first few years they spent their time setting up the institution, focusing on staff recruitment and setting up regional offices.
She said they are now proud that they have fully functional offices in the 16 districts of across the country.
She said they are also proud of the work they have been doing in partnership with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, disclosing that they have embarked on some very key function with regards teacher development.
Dr.Beckley disclosed that the Accountant General’s Office in the Ministry of Finance has also devolved payroll function to the commission and that they now manage the payroll, monitor the movement of teachers and also advise the Accountant General’s Office on how to pay teachers at the end of every month.
She said the commission has five functional areas, including the Department of Registration and Licenses, Department of Teacher Management, Department of Teacher Development and Performance, Department of Teacher Employment and the Department of Corporate Services.
“Teachers play key role in the development of any country and they need to be acknowledged for the good work they are doing. It is not an easy task. To have good quality teachers is what this commission is aiming at,’’ she said.
She said the commission was working to increase the performance of teachers and ensure that they are effective in the classrooms.
The chairpersons further stated that in the past years, results in public examinations in the country showed that some pupils have not been doing well simply because teachers have not been teaching well.
She said it is the duty of the commission to ensure that they have qualified, capable, competent and infective teachers in every districts and in every school across the country, so that pupils can learn and meet the standard that is set for them.
She called on the media to work with the commission to ensure that people know the work of the commission, to ensure that children get the quality education they deserve for the development of the nation.
She said the commission acknowledges the work teachers have been doing and that they believe that they would soon be rewarded, disclosing that the Sierra Leone cabinet has approved the teachers licenses scheme, albeit they were yet to implement the licenses system.
She said they have developed professional standards for teachers and school leaders on how they should behave in the classrooms for effective delivery and better learning, and called on teachers and school leaders to implement that professional standard.
She said they have dreams in the commission and that they are advocating for the realization of those dreams, noting that the vision they have set out was also part of the government’s vision and teachers are not left out in that vision.
Pastor committed to High Court for sexual penetration
By Jeneba A Conteh
Presiding Magistrate Abdul Sheriff at the Padempa Road Court No.3, has yesterday committed to the High Court one Joseph Samuel Bassie, a pastor from the Global Outreach Ministries International, Kossoh Town in Freetown, for alleged sexual penetration.
The accused was before the court on one count charge of sexual penetration, contrary to Section 19 of the sexual Offence Act No.12 of 2012.
Inspector GVS Macaulay alleges that the accused on Thursday, October 10th ,2019, at No.11 New London, Kossoh Town in Freetown, sexually penetrated a child below the age of 18 to wit 13 years old girl.
Magistrate Abdul Sheriff stated that upon all the evidence he had gathered against the accused, he therefore committed the matter to the High Court for trail.