By Ibrahim Kabba Turay
The Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Dr. David Sengeh, on May 26,romanced with stakeholders in Moyamba District, to address the issues of poor performance of pupils in public examinations and the high rate of teenage pregnancy in the district.
Officials from the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) including the deputy minister, Emily Gogra, met with stakeholders in the district to discuss issues dealing with education, and what needed to be done to address the emerging challenges.
Many stakeholders made valid submissions and among them were the Sierra Leone Traders Union president, the Transport Union President, and Okada Union President and other key stakeholders in Moyamba District.
Some of the underline issues they raised were the massive failure of pupils in public examinations, early marriage and teenage pregnancy among girls in the district.
Dr. David M.Sengeh, in his words, said it’s important for everybody to note that education is a national investment and that it’s the only way a country can develop.
He said their being to Moyamba was to educate the public, among them were critical stakeholders including market woman, commercial bike riders, Teachers’ Union, Traders Union and the Motor Drivers Union.
He said the engagement will help government to learn from stakeholders as to what and what they were not getting right and why girls were not doing well in public examinations in Moyamba.
He said the other reason for the engagement was for them to know why the rate of teenage pregnancy was high in Moyamba, and what the root causes were.
He said as a government, they were investing 22% of the national budget in education because that is the only way Sierra Leone can move forward.
He concluded that they have provided a toll-free line, 8060, through which stakeholders can channel their complaints.
Sarah Fofanah, a teacher and stakeholder in Moymba district, said Dr. Sengeh has done exemplary well in the cabinet of President Bio, describing him as a reformer who has contributed immensely in transforming the basic and senior secondary education in the country.
She said the community engagement was the first to be held in the district, to address challenges in the education sector, thus urging other government ministers to replicate Dr. Sengeh’s engagement by bring government to the doorsteps of the electorates.
She maintained that the engagement was timely because they were yearning for it to address the problems of teenage pregnancy and the poor performance of girls in public education.