Sierra Leone Telegraph: 17 July 2018:
Last Friday 13 July, the Sierra Leone Teachers’ Union (SLTU), held a meeting at State House with President Julius Maada Bio to endorse his government’s free education policy.
President of the SLTU – Mohamed Sallieu Bangura, expressed hope in the success of the new approach to education. He extended his appreciation for the appointment of Alpha Timbo as the Minister of Primary and Secondary Education.
He said that there are many urgent and challenging issues facing teachers across the country. But he assured the president that the minister, whom he said understands the everyday concerns of teachers because he was once a teacher himself, is very capable of unifying the teachers in the face of those challenges.
Mr Bangura said they are ready to implement the free education programme, commencing in September 2018.
He called on President Bio to pay special attention to the recruitment and replacement of teachers, improve salary and conditions of service, provide adequate teaching and learning materials, grant refresher training for teachers, pay school subsidy on time and empower the Teaching Service Commission.
President Bio thanked the union for believing in his vision to transform the country through education, noting that teachers are the builders of the future of the country and providers of knowledge and wisdom.
He emphasised that the future of the country depends on the quality of education children received in school, adding that during the election campaign he went to some parts of the country where he saw dilapidated schools, teachers deprived of facilities. This he said ultimately meant that there could be no effective teaching and learning in those schools.
The president promised to look into the concerns of teachers and urges them to support education as the flagship programme of the New Direction.
“Teachers are a very important component to the progress of this nation. My administration will work closely with the Union to make sure that those teachers, who spend their entire lives building the lives of their countrymen, also live in comfort,” he assured the SLTU.
Things have started functioning in the c0untry today. I am sure everyone will take chance to educate his or her children. I do hope the education mess that worried Sierra Leoneans is now over. The country needs to work harder to make sure everything is perfect for the implementation of the free education.
Thanks, my president and brother. Today I am proud of being a Sierra Leonean in the diaspora. Thanks president for your hard work.
I am extremely concerned about the success of the Free Education programme, which I would like to refer to as FREE and FAIR Education to include quality and other essential elements. Free and Fair education is a very deep programme and to start it September 2018 sounds daunting.
However, with a high level of dedicated personnel and Divine Direction all things are possible. I am therefore appealing to all experienced educationists abroad to go home and give their support to their colleagues. This programme must be embraced by all.
I believed that, at all costs if the country’s LEADERS are GOD fearing, and are accountable to the people for their steps taken, then I see no reason why country-men should not pay tax, in order to develop the country. I urge the Bio Govt.
If all what they are doing is for the best of the country and not for self ego, then let justice prevail. And H.E. Bio will occupy another spectrum in Zion Sierra Leone; and his name will never be forgotten like others in the history of Salone. To fight a FREE EDUCATION Fight is a FIGHT Against corruption as well.
I wish the president good luck. May God guide him to accomplish his mission and continue to protect him for us as well.
What a good idea Mr president. Thanks a lot for thinking about the youth of today. As for us we didn’t have this opportunity for free education. Give Sierra Leone a new face president Bio. Let’s forget the old Sierra Leone and build a new Sierra Leone.
I think this is a big step for the new Sierra Leone. And also let us not forget our teachers. Our teachers play a vital role in our education. I hope Sierra Leoneans will stand together and build this nation. United we stand, divided we fall. God bless.