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.