President Bio launches vocational skills development fund

Sierra Leone Telegraph: 26 November 2020:

Last Monday, President Dr Julius Maada Bio presented a cheque of over Le 9 billion in Segbwema, Kailahun District, Eastern Sierra Leone to the Skills Development Fund, which would initially benefit over 1,660 ypoung people in his political heartlands of Kenema and Kailahun districts.

Paramount Chief of Njaluahun Chiefdom, James Sheriff Coker-Jajua, expressed joy for receiving the President, but most importantly for the launch of the skills development fund in his chiefdom that would support middle-level manpower through technical education.

“I am humbled to welcome you all to Njaluahun Chiefdom and to tell you that the Free Quality Education has really helped the poor people of this country,” he stated.

Member of Parliament for Constituency 008, Honourable Wuyata Bernadette Songa, thanked the President for the opportunity given to her people to host the launch for the Skills Development Fund in Njaluahun Chiefdom. She noted that such an initiative would go a long way to strengthen and deepen the foundation of the Free Quality Education.

She, therefore, encouraged the people of the district, particularly the youth to take good advantage  of such an opportunity, which she said would help develop the country’s middle manpower.

Minister of Tertiary and Higher Education, Professor Aiah Gbakima, said the project was in partnership with the World Bank and that it would cater for those students who couldn’t meet the requirements to enter university. He said with those skills training centres delivering carpentry, tailoring, mechanics and other training, the development fund will target about 8,000 beneficiaries by 2023.

“This exercise went through extended inter-agency partnerships. I thank all partners, including the World Bank,” he concluded.

Minister of Finance, Jacob Jusu Saffa, said that it is a government of Sierra Leone project, but partnered with the World Bank to implement the first phase in the east of the country.

“The World Bank has seen the political will of this administration to make education accessible to everyone in the country. And this skills development initiative is in line with the 2018 manifesto of the ruling Sierra Leone People’s Party, ” he stated.

Minister Saffa also noted that the Skills Development Fund has a budget of over 120 billion Leones that would span through 2024, adding that the more funding the programme gets the more the government would extend the implementation to other districts.

President Dr Julius Maada Bio said that he is happy to be in Njaluahun, particularly in Segbwema, where the people are always very excited to welcome him as one of their own.

“My visit here today is to launch the Skills Development Fund and to show that my government values education. Education should be treated seriously because it is the only means to lasting development,” he said.

He continued by saying that the Fund would cater for those who could not make it to university or college, so they would become useful in nation building. He admonished the youth of the district to take their education seriously because he believes that education is a universal key that unlocks every door.

“Education is good for nation-building and for personal development. Therefore, I urge you all to make every effort to support this programme. The future ahead of us in very challenging and it is only education that will prepare us all for the Fourth Industrial Revolution. I now have the honour to launch the Skills Development Fund, to help foster education,” he concluded.

4 Comments

  1. And who is it among you sleeping millions languishing in abject poverty in the
    slums and ghettos of Freetown that truly believes that a lackluster government as the corrupt and notorious SLPP, has your best interests at heart? Well, if they did, why would they keep on borrowing complicated high interests loans that will certainly shackle and stifle generations yet unborn with interest rates that always keep on increasing? These individuals now in power are truly unfit and irresponsible to their innermost core!

    Now listen quietly and soberly to this:”The principal beneficiaries of the World Bank are the people who fly in on first class tickets to give advice to governments” Those are the words of David Malpass to Congress prior to his appointment as President of the World Bank; Goodness gracious!When will Africans start thinking for themselves instead of leaning on the meritless advice of loan sharks? And there’s more that will shock you out of your wits. The principal value of the World Bank does not lie in its spending abilities for investment projects, but instead the bank’s principal impact arises through its influences on national policies exerted multilaterally.

    Those are infallible words of truth by Economics Professor and Nobel Prize Winner Michael Kremer. Answer – we have tirelessly been borrowing since Independence exactly. Why haven’t we improved an inch? Well if you refuse to bravely grab responsibility by the horns, then this is what happens – others with ulterior, shady motives will exploit and make important decisions for you. Geez!

    You Palm-wine drinking knuckle-heads have not changed at all; (lol) It has always been a habit of yours to take a glass here and there, from a poor wine seller on credit and not paying back until his business goes under; now here you are again borrowing high interests loans, not paying a cent back but asking for more and more. Disgraceful!(lol)

  2. Desperate moments call for desperate action. With the global COVID19 pandemic and the effect it is having on our country’s economy and measures needed to put in place to counteract its impact in society, the best way to kick start economic activity and arrest the tidal wave of chronic youth employment, that has been with us since or even before the pandemic took hold in Sierra leone, this new initiative of investing in vocational education and training is a welcome development.

    As always with this Bio government, he always comes up with good ideas, but when it comes to the delivery part of things, we always seem to hit an unseen massive road block. This can be blamed on lack of transparency and accountability in the distribution of funds. Who gets what and when and most importantly, who is responsible for making sure it reaches the people it is meant to help. I think this is where the private sector in collaboration with government is needed. A local auditing mechanism involving the elders and communities at large, will also go a long way to ensure they benefit from this government programmes.

    Not everyone is cut out for academia achievements. With vocational qualifications, students learn skills that prepare them to work in trades like carpentry and culinary, and many more. It is less time consuming and you are straight in to a job. With your qualifications, you can start your own business. These are the practical ways that will make a difference in any future economic development in Sierra leone.

  3. Gentlemen – there was once a gullible desperate farmer that was anxious to grow and expand his tiny,scanty farm business so he went to seek the advice of an agronomist; “You have two viable options the expert told him: Firstly,the most strategic moves in any expansion is to have a concrete plan in place to diversify and replicate treatment plots within the fertile farming area,randomization also has the potential to increase the yields and outputs of harvests:I would seriously advise that you give it a try.

    “But remember” the expert reminded him, “There are no quick fixes in farm business expansion – hard work,vigilance and meticulous planning should be your guides,otherwise all your schemes and interests are doom to failure.”The farmer was totally flabbergasted and confounded.”I don’t have the money,and time is not on my side” he complained.”Well there is an another option which is like a noose around your neck,it resembles a slave,wet behind the ears working for someone else,toiling and laboring,suffocating under the blazing sun for ages and ages,yet making no form of progress.What say you?” asked the curious man.”Exactly what i am desperately in need of – now tell me more.”The gullible farmer shouted with joy.

    And with tears of sadness in his eyes the Agronomist said;”Friend,there are loan sharks that make demons and devils tremble with fear,and there are others that can petrify borrowers with their shadowy tactics to the point that they become totally paralyzed with fear.And lastly there are the most ruthless and merciless lenders that seeks to own your soul,and possess those of your children,grandchildren and great grandchildren – their aims are veiled in gestures of compassion and goodwill – have you ever heard names the IMF and World Bank? BEWARE OF THEM!.” Folks,ask yourselves why would a self-seeking loan shark keep on lending you money when you still haven’t paid what YOU OWE? Its like giving a drunken guest more and more wine when his cup is still full and overflowing? This President like others in Africa are already drowning in high interest loans and yet they keep on asking for more and more just like a New York addict in desperate need of a quick fix.(lol)

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