Speaker assures partners in education sector

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February 28, 2019

By Jariatu S Bangura

Speaker of Parliament, Dr. Abass Bundu on Tuesday assured development partners in the education that Parliament will do all it  could to not only increase their support, but also strengthen parliamentary oversight especially on education.

The speaker was delivering his keynote address at a three-day round table discussion between Parliamentary Committee on Education and development partners (UNICEF, WFP, JAICA, BRITISH COUNCIL, GIZ, IRISH AID, DFID, UNFPA, EU, WORLD BANK and USAID).

“Under my Speakership, I wish to strongly assure you all that we will do all we can to not only increase, but also strengthen parliamentary oversight over the Executive arm of government, particularly in the education sector, with a view of assuring judicious use of your support and assistance,” he said.

He noted that they were aware of the fact that the education sector has over the years fallen far behind international competition, but that they would continue to take robust and appropriate measures aimed at changing the paradigm in the sector.

He said parliament cannot lose sight of the increasing global demands for their institution’s support to other societies that equally need their utmost intervention.

The Speaker continued that parliament was not oblivious of the heightening support their institutions have been providing for the improvement of the educational system, especially the end of the country’s eleven years civil war and other subsequent disasters.

“As a Parliament in particular and government generally, we hold sacred fact that a nation cannot develop without a strong human capital. It is against this background that the government is working relentlessly to ensure a positive reform in the education sector. In that regard, the government demonstrated its commitment by introducing, as a matter of extreme urgency, the free quality education at both the basic and senior secondary educational levels,” he said.

He commended every partner who in diverse ways has collaborated with government to ensure the successful introduction of the flagship project.

Dr. Bundu maintained that there was no iota of doubt that the outcome of the engagement would better harness the working relationship between Parliament and the donor community, and also enhance the knowledge and information of the committees with regards details of their support towards the educational sector.

According to the Chairman of Committee on Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Hon. Dominic Tshombe, engaging members on education was laudable move that would enhance the sustainability of the free quality education.

 He said Parliamentary Committees would only function well in their oversight if they were adequately and properly informed, thus expressing hope that the workshop will help them with such information.

He said the various Committees would give their support to the partners as they were poised to do their oversight role with all sincerity and to ensure that resources given will be adequately utilised,with  corruption and embezzlement completely eradicated in the education sector.

However, Chairman of Technical and Higher Education Committee commended the EU and other partners for their backbone support to the government and the Committees.

He said since education is the flagship program of the government, they would ensure that government succeeds.