Sierra Leone Telegraph: 20 November 2019:
President Dr Julius Maada Bio has today urged pupils and students in Sierra Leone to pay more attention to their schoolwork, and make good use of the free quality education that is being offered by his New Direction Government.
Speaking at the Bintumani Conference Centre in Aberdeen, Freetown, on the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the President said that his government has prioritised human capital development because people are the most important asset to any country.
Investing in education he said, is the best way of helping people realise their full potential in society.
“I chose free quality education so that we can empower the children of this country to be useful to their communities, societies and the world at large. We are investing in our children because we want the best for you and we want to give you the required skills to be competitive. We are here to nurture, protect and advocate for you and I encourage you all to concentrate on your work,” he said.
President Bio spoke about his disappointment at the recent spate of examination malpractices and cheating in schools. He said that such malpractices are detrimental to the growth and wellbeing of children.
He added that parents and teachers must at all times discourage students from cheating in schools because it would affect their progress.
“We do not only want you to be educated but to be competitive, especially in the international world. We cannot allow malpractices in schools because we care a lot about our kids, the future of our nation and the world. It is the responsibility of teachers, parents and the community to make sure our children perform well in schools,’’ he said.
Commissioner for the National Children Commission (NCC), Mrs Olayinka Laggah said that the NCC has been established to monitor and coordinate the implementation of the UNCRC and the African Charter; and to advise the government on issues affecting the welfare of children in the country.
She noted that since the ratification of the UNCRC, Sierra Leone has made tremendous efforts and progress in promoting the rights of children, especially in the development and promotion of legislation and policies.
Mrs Laggah said that the NCC has significantly improved its partnership with the relevant ministries, departments and agencies, non-governmental organisations and institutions that are dealing with children in Sierra Leone.
In life you always have to have a dream in order to make it a reality. As Late Dr. Martin Luther King said “I HAVE A DREAM“. So I don’t see anything wrong for President Bio to dream BIG for our kids in Sierra Leone, just as the leaders of Europe and Asia. May the Almighty continue to bless President Bio with Wisdom and Understanding.
The Free Quality Education is nothing but a Quick fix,an inadequate political solution,that fails miserably to address the underlying problems,and challenges,that are crippling our nation’s education system. I think,it will be better for all of us to be sincere,and call it the “Poor Quality Education” instead.(lol) I mean seriously,there are children sweating profusely in uninspiring,overcrowded classrooms,sitting closely together like sardines in a can. Some are attending schools under trees, others in dusty playgrounds suffocating in the most unhygienic, and depressing surroundings.
Most of these children go to school well dressed and happy, but they return to their homes dejected, soaked and drenched, after being pelted by heavy rainfalls. Teachers are unmotivated,underpaid,and not properly trained,and no specific targets,or goals,have been provided for them to achieve, that could be used as an adequate criteria to measure the level of success being attained. Strange indeed! This Government never thought for once, that when you build a ladder to climb a tree, it shouldn’t become just another ordinary unused tool.
It must be seen as a device that leads to rewards, and fruits to be received for your labours, when you reach the top. Zimbabwe has the highest literacy rate in Africa, and yet is still very poor, with unemployment levels ranking among the highest in the world. It seems this inept government is making the same mistakes as they did. Alright, alright, let me help you guys out.(lol) Firstly, your principal aim should be to create strong and credible institutions,that will facilitate,and safeguard a robust,and sustainable economy.
Next, find ingenious ways to increase export output and revenues,and thereby reduce inflation,which will show its promising results in a stronger currency. And then your next move will be to put policies and systems in place to create long term jobs, that will keep on replicating other opportunities – ad infinitum. This is of crucial importance, a light at the end of the tunnel – a fountain to drink from forever by all those who will benefit from the Free education. Makes good sense doesn’t it?(lol) Rising Sun Will Rise Again.
Sorry, I have the feeling these are only dreams and big words. What about the school buses, the low salaries of the bus drivers, the underpayment of teachers. But on the other side, what about the high amount of travelling costs by the
Good work. Thank you Mr President and keep up the good work.
That is inspirational and Sierra Leone will be The Champions of Human Capital Development in the World. We the people -need Quality education to feed the brains and Change our Mindset; affordable Healthcare and Food on the table for all. We must focus as a nation together to see ourselves as Leading Giant Nation in Africa. we must eager to increase our Economic Growth and Economic Development Collectively. We must be ready, willing and able to solve our problems, for only us can solve our problems. God bless Sierra Leone.