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.