Sierra Leone Telegraph: 16 September 2019:
President Julius Maada Bio has today announced measures to curb the increasing spate of examination malpractices. He made this announcement at the opening of the newly Comprehensive Primary School at No.9 Community in Freetown.
Addressing the nation, president Bio said: “Examination malpractice destroys the soul of our education system and we must all support the current efforts by the Anti-Corruption Commission, ACC, to pursue all those involved in examination malpractice.
“However, those efforts by the ACC must be within the law, adhere to due process and respect human rights. As a government we have engaged in heightened and robust monitoring of all public examinations which has led to the uncovering of the huge scale of examination malpractice.
“Therefore, as immediate steps to address examination malpractice, I wish to announce the following: First, all those caught or suspected of examination malpractice should be prosecuted without delay or exemption; second, any teacher or school head caught and prosecuted should be terminated from service and third, all centres suspected of examination malpractice should have their results cancelled”.
President Bio also mentioned that his government would strengthen school management and supervision, adding that school boards and management committees will be provided with leadership skills training.
He said that schools inspectors and supervisors will ensure regular and systematic monitoring and supervision.
The Deputy Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education – Emily Gogra, said that the completion of the newly constructed school in Freetown, is a fulfilment of President Bio’s vision to provide quality education in the country.
She also commended the Member of Parliament for Constituency 132 – Ibrahim Tawa MP, for his relentless efforts in constructing the 15-classroom modern building, saying that this example is worth emulating by all MPs.
Addressing the audience, Ibrahim Tawa MP said he is proud to have undertaken the ambitious project of constructing a school that will cater for under-privileged children in three communities within his constituency.
He said he has constructed the school to a standard befitting the status and correct ambiance for the dispensation of education and learning.
The new school. He said. Will undoubtedly benefit children within the communities and thanked President Bio for his support towards the completion of the project.
At the formal opening of the school ceremony, President Julius Maada Bio said that his government will continue to invest in quality education for sustainable national development.
He thanked the Sierra Leone Peoples Party, SLPP, Member of Parliament for Constituency 132 – Ibrahim Tawa Conteh MP and his people for inviting him to the launch, adding that the government will continue to dedicate 21 percent of national budget to education, and open access to education for every Sierra Leonean child regardless of gender, ability, ethnicity, religion, or region.
“My Government believes that education is a critical enabler of national development. We shall, therefore, spare no expense because we know the cost of ignorance and we know the cost of lagging behind in development. Our new Sierra Leone refuses to languish in backwardness. This is our new pathway and we will succeed as a nation because we are investing in young people,” he said.
President Bio said that the government is doing all of that because the future of the nation depends on good quality education, adding that the country will need the best medical personnel, the best engineers to build the roads and hospitals, to mine the enormous natural resources, to provide infrastructural solutions and would need the best scientists, ICT engineers to take full advantage of advances in communications technology for development.
“So I am very much gratified this morning to be here to formally open these educational facilities. For us all, this is a moment of inspiration; it is a moment of great hope. It makes us all believe what is possible when our hearts are in the right place and when we care very deeply about our communities, our people, and about the future of this nation.
“We will make schools safe spaces for girls and we will vigorously campaign against early child marriage, teenage pregnancy, and protect our girls from sexual and gender-based violence. We will pass laws that protect girls and women,” he said.
This is President Bio talking tough to teachers, parents and heads of schools: