November 26, 2021
By Alfred Koroma
Children in remote parts of Sierra Leone are still going to school without teachers, says Hon. Sahr Charles of Constituency 028, Kono District.
The C4C MP said government had promised to redeploy teachers into the remote areas of the country but kids still go to school in those areas without teachers while teachers are piled in big towns.
He charged that the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education is doing nothing to redeploy teachers in those areas.
Hon. Charles said that the New Direction Campaign Manifesto, had promised to spend Le380,000 per child in public schools to provide two set uniforms, textbooks and other learning materials, but he pointed out that some children in Songu Brewah Memorial Secondary School in his constituency are still going to school without uniform and core text books despite government promise to provide those learning materials
He said he has also received petitions from teachers expressing dissatisfaction against the government with regards the Free Quality Education project.
The Hon. Member of Parliament expresses those concerns while making his contribution in the first day of debating the 2022 financial year budget – stating that he was revealing those information for the benefit of his people and not to score political goals.
“I’m bringing this point up not to make political score; I’m bringing them up because I want my people to benefit,” he reiterated.
The C4C MP however acknowledged government effort in paying school fees for all school going children in government schools and government assisted schools. According to him, payment of school fees is the only aspect of the Free Quality Education the New Direction government has gotten right. “There is no government school or government assisted school where parents are paying fees,” he stated.
Free quality education is the flagship program of President Bio’s government. Since he came into office in 2018, greater percentage of the national budget has consistently gone to the education sector. But access to quality education in public schools remain a challenge in the country. The report launched earlier this year by Institute of Governance Report (IGR) reveals that despite substantive gains in school enrolment, access to quality education remains an onerous challenge, particularly in remote regions.