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Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio Closes 2020 Education Forum Week, Justifies Government Investment in Quality Education

Bintumani Hotel, Freetown, Friday 11 December 2020 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has officially closed the week-long forum on the future of education in the country, praised the efforts of the ministry of education and emphasised that by investing in education is investing in the future of Sierra Leone.

“The future of education in Sierra Leone will define the future of this nation. So this dialogue today is indeed a defining moment in our nation’s history. To define that future, we should define the roles of each actor in shaping the future of education in Sierra Leone. 

“Also early this week, I was in the Gabonese Republic at the invitation of my brother, President Ali Bongo Ondimba. I came back with a wholesome view of what is possible with good natural resource governance, economic diversification, and what they call human investment strategy with a 96% primary school education rate,” he said.

The President added that there was a confluence of views on the notion that for a nation to achieve accelerated economic development, it must invest in its citizens and boost local productivity, adding that Sierra Leone had already articulated that in the government’s New Direction manifesto and Medium-Term National Development Plan.

“To facilitate more access to education, my Government pays billions of Leones in fee subsidies for over two million children right across Sierra Leone, constructed new schools and refurbished and furnished existing schools, approved over 3,000 more schools, and constructing early childhood development centres for the first time in all parts of Sierra Leone.

Chairman of the Oversight Committee on Education in Parliament, Honourable Dominic Lavalie Tshombe, commended the government for the huge task of implementing its flagship programme – Free Quality Education – across the country, noting that the government had also increased its financial support to the sector.

Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Dr Moinina David Sengeh, said the two ministries in the education sector were closely working together in enhancing the Free Quality Education programme, adding that there had been a significant improvement in the realisation of the government’s human capital development agenda.

“The state of education is better than it was some three years ago. This is because there has been an increase in number in the school system,” he said, adding that the world was admiring Sierra Leone because of the radical inclusion of everyone into the system. He said all of that was the result of the introduction of technology and innovation into education administration.

“When we reopened schools during this difficult time of COVID 19, people bashed at us. Today the world is motivated by the measures we have put in place. There has been no incident or transmission of COVID-19,” he disclosed, noting that he was proud that the future of education in the country was bright and prosperous.

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