State House, Freetown, Tuesday 30 January 2024 – Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Teach for All, Wendy Sue Kopp, has paid a courtesy call on His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio, accompanied by a cross-section of her national staff, to express appreciation for the enabling environment to operate in the country.
She recalled her meeting in 2018 with the President in Dubai, UAE, where he told her that he was going to be the education president, adding that she and her team were very excited to learn about how truly the journey had been.
Madam Kopp noted that Teach for All was a global network of independent nonprofit organisations operating in 60 countries from the United States of America to the UK, working with seven other organisations in Sub-Saharan Africa with a commitment to developing collective leadership and ensuring that all children were in school to attain their full potential.
The CEO, who was visiting Sierra Leone for the first time, also noted that it was amazing to see the many things President Bio had done in the educational sector, especially to ensure that work was in progress to strengthen their foundation in the country.
His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio welcomed the team and noted that his government had come a long way to get to where the country is today in terms of developing its human capital. He recalled that it was a difficult journey for the government and people of Sierra Leone because “we launched our free quality education journey just after which, we had the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These challenges did not stop us from going on because, as a president, my government considers education as an existential thing. We boasted about it even when we had a powerful enemy, COVID-19. There was pressure from every aspect of the economy, including the debt burden because education is expensive”.
He noted that notwithstanding, his government had been able to stay on the path of education, adding that that was how difficult it was for the government and the country to get to where they were with education.
President Bio compared Sierra Leone to a society that was going through a difficult time but assured that they were equally determined to take on the challenge of education because it was the only solution that would take his people out of poverty.
“I believe that education is an enabler for most of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and I am happy that we met quite earlier before the commencement of my human capital development journey in Sierra Leone.”
Chief Executive Officer for Teach for Sierra Leone, Josephine Saidu, informed that four years ago they discussed bringing Teach for All to the country, adding that the board of trustees and members had recruited, trained, placed, and supported 400 university graduates from diverse fields of study to teach children in hard-to-reach communities in Sierra Leone.
She described their teaching model as transformative and expressed how appreciative and proud they were to have supported the government through the ministries of education.
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