Sierra Leone Telegraph: 8 March 2023:
Liberia is among four countries benefiting from the signing of new commitments to education projects, which took place at the United Nations fifth Least Developed Countries conference in Doha on Tuesday.
Education Above All (EAA) and the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD) hosted a roundtable discussion which included ministers from Bangladesh, Liberia, Senegal, Burkina Faso, Pakistan, Nigeria, Malawai and the State of Palestine.
Sierra Leone is not included in this vital round of funding. Critics say that Sierra Leone has become a victim of its own propaganda, as president Bio and education minister Sengeh present Sierra Leone as a global exemplary model of primary education delivery, despite hundreds of thousands of children still struggling to access education provisions in many parts of the country.
The “Out of School Children – Linking across sectors for Success” aimed to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of sharing best practices, when it comes to providing access to primary education for children in LDCs where EAA has a presence.
The discussion was followed by the official signings of new commitments for EAA projects in Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, Liberia and Senegal.
These new projects will ensure more than 785,060 out-of-school primary children are committed to enrolling in education between now and March 2027.
Photo: HE Mr. Khalifa Al Kuwari, Director General of Qatar Fund for Development and Liberia’s Minister for Education Ansu Sonii signing new commitments to education projects in Liberia in Doha on Tuesday.
Speaking at the EAA event Liberia’s Minister for Education Ansu Sonii said: “The solution begins with the removal of illiteracy and ignorance. And that hope is only through education in all of his forms to all people, male, female, girls, boys, people with disability, regardless of where they live. Education is second to none, when it comes to development of nations and the removal of poverty, because if people are capacitated to think out of the box, they normally will find a way to pass their independence and relevance.”
“Early Learning has become criteria for all of us now. Foundational learning is critical, because we have come to know that in the absence of adequate quality, foundational learning, the ladder going up becomes difficult.”
“I’m happy that the (EAA) foundation has founded this programme and Liberia is going to benefit because the out of school kids, those who are left behind, the digital divide right now, all of these are the basis for those who are least developed, to remain least developed.”
“Somebody someday, shall say because of Education above All, because of the Qatar Foundation, we have come to graduation, we did not come to school again, which means to graduate. May that be so God willing.”
Education Above All and its partner Street Child will continue its work in Liberia on the project: Education for Every Child Today (EFECT): Improving Access to Education for the Most Vulnerable Children in West Africa. This project will target 13,500 children in Liberia, aiming to construct 37 schools in the different areas they work.
Hosting the discussion Fahad Al-Sulaiti, CEO of Education Above All urged everyone to build on what was agreed at LDC5: “To prepare for the upcoming SDG [Summit] in September 2023, policymakers need to work together to assess existing shortcomings and discover the best way to address them to avoid effects on the global economy”.
Speaking at the event HE Mr. Khalifa Al Kuwari, Director General of Qatar Fund for Development, said the Doha programme of action for these developing countries coincides with the decade of action to deliver the Sustainable Development goals. This is a very critical time for our generation to deliver sustained results on various topics, chief of which is leaving no one behind, especially when it comes to education.
The 46 least developed countries (LDCs) are defined, by the United Nations, as low-income countries facing multiple challenges that prevent them from sustainable growth. The LDCs represent around 880 million people which is 12% of the world’s population. LDC5 aims to achieve a road map to implement the Doha Programme of Action (DPoA) bringing the LDCs together with partners to agree commitments, maintain political momentum and ensure goals are met so that no one is left behind in this decade of action to deliver the SDGs.
The Doha Programme of Action calls for a commitment to “ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable, inclusive and quality primary and secondary education, leading to relevant and effective learning outcomes and inclusive, sustainable economic growth.”