March 2, 2016 By Jariatu S. Bangura
Newly approved board member of the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) has stated that the commission should re-activate teachers’ code of conduct and enforce it, in a bid to help address ills in the educational system.
Answering questions posed by members of the appointment committee in Parliament, Madam Elfrida Scott said she viewed the commission as a very laudable institution because it has practical functions. “I have just retired from the educational system after 35 years of service and know exactly what the ills are in the system and I would be happy to be given the opportunity to contribute towards addressing them. We are not really happy with the declining standards in the education sector,” she said.
“On the issue of former code of conduct for teachers, the code of conduct used to be a regulatory document that was designed to ensure that teachers did their work in a professional manner and comport themselves very well. The Teaching Service Commission needs to re-activate the code of conduct and enforce it. We might just be able to restore the educational system to its former glory or start turning out a new breed of professional teachers,” she averred.
Madam Scott is a retired educationist who has spent her entire working life in the teaching profession, as well as being a member of several organisations involved in the promotion of education, particularly the education of the girl child and with a long list of awards in recognition of her contribution to education in sierra Leone.
She said the country suffers from paucity of teachers in various subject areas and locations across the country.
“Trained and qualified teachers are concentrated in the urban areas and do not like to go to the rural areas where social amenities and other facilities are lacking, but if government and the local communities could help in the provision of housing for teachers and pay attractive ‘remote area allowances’ many teachers may be motivated to teach in the rural areas,” she said.
Alternately, she added that government is spending a lot on grants-in-aid for students in tertiary institutions. “The students could be bonded to teach in remote areas for few years after graduation, particularly during their National Youth Service and on behalf of government and not on the commission’s behalf.”
Other nominees approved include Osman Manansu–Conteh, as board member Sierra Leone Maritime Administration; Mani Koroma, board member Sierra Leone Water Company (SALWACO); and Marcella Belinda Jones, board member Audit Service Board.