By Alhaji Haruna Sani
The Sierra Leone Teaching Service Commission (TSC) has informed newsmen through a press briefing that President Bio will be at the Presidential National Best Teachers’ Award (PNBTA) to announce the grand prize winners.
The event, which is organised by TSC in collaboration with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), will be held at the Bintumani International Conference Hall tomorrow, October 5, World Teachers Day.
Updating the press about the third edition of the event, Conrad Sackey, Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, said since the launch of the first award ceremony, they made commitment to be improving on the event in each year, stating that there is going to be much improvement in the star prize for this year.
He said the importance of the award among several others is to recognise the work some teachers have been doing that no one has recognised them for. He added that the event will also serve as a motivation to people who may want to come into the profession.
Director of Teachers’ Management, Marian Abu, explained that there has been a huge turn-out in the number of teachers being nominated for the award since the first edition.
“In the first edition, we have about 200 teachers nominated and the second about 500, while 1037 were nominated for this third edition,” she said.
She said out of the 1037 teachers nominated, 320 were shortlisted, 10 from primary and 10 from secondary schools per district. She said there are going to be two final winners from two categories (primary and secondary).
The Teachers Management Director added that there would be five special awards to other set of teachers including disables and poor teachers who are giving their best.
Lans Keifala, designate Chair of TSC, noted that the initiative was conceived against the backdrop of a decade of apathy in the teaching profession.
He said the recommended procedures for the selection of the Best Teacher were based on the principles of inclusiveness and integration within an existing governmental system, entrenched mechanisms, and structures.
He said the eligibility criteria for teachers to be selected are; full-time trained and qualified primary and secondary school teachers in government and government-assisted schools in Sierra Leone, consistent demonstration of high performance and dedication as teachers over at least uninterrupted 10 years of service, demonstration of a personal philosophy and belief that all students are capable of learning and achieving to their full potential, and evidence of meeting professional standards to be defined in the knowledge, practice and engagement domains.
He concluded that the objectives of the National Best Teacher Award initiative are: to recognise the value of teachers in the overall human and economic development of Sierra Leone and to promote excellence among teachers by rewarding the most innovative, creative and dedicated teachers, at district and national levels.