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As MPs screen presidential nominees…

Bernadette Cole says she will fix education difficulties

July 15, 2016 By Jariatu S. Bangura

As Members of the Appointment and Public Service Committee in Parliament interviewed four presidential nominees appointed to serve in different institutions, Mrs Bernadette Cole has told members that if approved, she would do her best to fix myriad difficulties faced by the Teaching Service Commission.

Chairman of the committee, Hon. Ibrahim R. Bundu, earlier told nominees that they would be interviewed based on information provided by them and the public.

In response to a question posed by Paramount Chief Hon. Joseph Alieu Kongomoh on how she intend to change the odds faced by the Commission, including the issue of ghost teachers, falsification of results and other certificates, Mrs Cole said the issues would be addressed by first looking at various feasibility studies carried out by institutions on education to understand the problems before ways could be found to tackle them.

“We will gather all the reports from UNICEF, World Bank and other institutions to study them properly, as the issues must be understood before measures are to taken. We will also look at the past solutions and establish as to whether they were properly addressed or not. If we found out that the solutions were not workable, we would surely find other solutions to address the issues,” she said.

Asked by Hon. Ansumana J. Kaikai as to why she was in parliament and at the same time not serving the institution, having taught from primary level to university, Madam Bernadette Cole said she was in parliament to be endorsed after her appointment by President Koroma to serve as Board Member at the Teaching Service Commission.

She however didn’t not provide answer as to why she should not serve parliament, but noted that there was need to share knowledge gained from her 30 years of dedicated service to the nation.

Hon. Ibrahim R. Bundu noted that more teachers are in the urban areas than in rural communities, adding that teachers should be recruited and posted to the latter as it was not up to them to choose where to go and teach.

Madam Cole promised that the commission would look into the issue and find ways to address it by either providing them with housing incentives or other means.

 “The problem of children leaving their communities to attend distance schools shows that their parents do not trust and have confidence in community schools,” she said.

The other nominees are Rtd. Col. A.B.Y. Kamara, proposed Board Member of the Environmental Protection Agency, Fatmata Sorie, proposed Board Member, Sierra Leone Teaching Service Commission, and Alfred Juma Fornah, proposed Board Member, Income Tax Board of Appellate Commissioners.

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