Child Welfare urges government to waive school fees and other charges
March 6, 2015 By Mohamed Massaquoi
Child Welfare Society Sierra Leone (CWS), a non-governmental charitable organisation that focuses on development and the welfare of vulnerable children, has called on the government of Sierra Leone to waive all school fees and other charges for at least one year, noting that the waiver should include private and public schools and tertiary institutions.
CWS Programme Manager, Moses S. Mambu, said the reason for the advocacy call is because parents and their children have been directly affected by the deadly Ebola disease which has claimed the lives of no fewer than 3,000 Sierra Leoneans.
“As Ebola has rendered parents to extreme poverty, we call on government to waive all school fees and other charges in both private and public institutions,” Mambu urged. “We want all pregnant girls and young mothers who were attending schools before the outbreak to be allowed to take their Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) and West Africa Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) and other public examinations.”
He also urged that school pupils and teachers be provided with free medical services for a period of two years, and adequate teaching and learning materials to all schools.
“We want the Schools Reopening Committee to embark on a nationwide community sensitisation and engagement to build confidence in parents to send their children to school,” he said and commended the ministries of Education, Science and Technology, and Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs for their relentless commitment in promoting the welfare of children in Sierra Leone.
“The reopening of schools should be collaborative efforts by all stakeholders. The Ministry of Transport should as well provide transportation facility to school going pupils in order to avoid close body contact during rush hours,” Mambu added.