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Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio Receives Massive Welcome from Women, Girls and Local Authorities Who Praise His Free Quality Education, GEWE Act 

Taiama Town, Kori Chiefdom, Friday 17 March 2023 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has received a huge welcome in Taiama Town from women and schoolchildren dancing to traditional songs and praising his government’s pro-women and girls’ empowerment and education policies.

Some of the jubilant women and girls, in their hundreds, said they had thronged the road leading to the headquarters of Kori Chiefdom in Moyamba District, on the main Freetown – Bo motor road, to demonstrate their appreciation of the President’s Free Quality Education programme, the Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment Act, and his government’s support for women through the social safety net.

Isha Kadijatu Kamara, 32, talked to State House Media before the event proper, saying, “On behalf of all women in the chiefdom, we are happy for the visit of His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio to the chiefdom. We are not here to only listen to his message, we are also here to thank him for all his development programmes, especially those that are geared toward the empowerment of women and girls in the country.

“If we have the chance, there will be no election for President Bio because of his commitment to ensuring that women and girls attain their full potential in our country. Despite the fact that we are more than men in terms of number, this is the only time women have been officially recognised at the highest level by no less a person than the President.

“We cannot do much, but we can come out in numbers and say thank you for all the good reasons. We are happy and grateful for his political commitment to supporting women, and we are going to return that favour on elections day 24 June 2023,” she assured.

Mariama Punga, a senior secondary school pupil of the Taiama Secondary School, who spoke to us with the approval of her teacher before the arrival of the President, said, “All the schools in the township, primary and secondary, are out on the street, waiting patiently for President Bio to thank him for the free quality education programme. Our friends and extended family members are all now in school because the burden on their parents has been taken off by the President.

“We are happy because gone are the days of identifying who has paid school fees in class from those that have not paid. Gone are the days of chasing our sisters, friends, and classmates out of school because of school fees. We are grateful to the President, and our parents are happy too because most of them are farmers in the villages who are not educated. But because of the opportunity provided by President Bio, more parents are happily sending their children to school”.

Chairlady of widow women in Taiama, Kadie Kamanda, said receiving the President and the First Lady was the greatest day for the entire chiefdom, in particular the women and girls, adding that widows in Sierra Leone are the happiest people among those parents now benefiting from the free quality education programme.

“Our husbands passed away, leaving us with many children. As single mothers, we had to choose who to send to school among our children because we had limited or no resources. With the Free Quality Education, all our children are now in school. The government has completely removed the burden of paying school fees, especially for all external examinations. Based on these reasons, among many others, we are going to vote for him to continue to extend his support to the widows, women, children, and people of Sierra Leone,” she emphasised.

President Julius Maada Bio thanked residents of Kori and later Dasse Chiefdoms for embracing his flagship Free Quality Education programme, the need to consider women and men as partners in development and for supporting the Sierra Leone People’s Party, SLPP.

“The SLPP is the party that brings independence, peace, democracy and it is also the party that brings development. Any country that has kicked against education is heading for disaster because it will not focus on development. Our country was recognised globally for its education, but it suffered due to bad governance.

“Based on my government’s determination and commitment to ensuring that more people are educated, we are now being considered a serious nation globally. We have seen the benefit of education and we are experiencing it on a daily basis, which is the more reason my government is offering free education for all.

“These children are our future leaders. So, I am calling on every citizen to understand the importance of my flagship programme. Presently, globally, if you are not educated, you cannot move beyond boundaries. So, I am calling on our parents and all stakeholders to embrace my free quality education initiative for development, transformation and in the interest of our collective future,” he urged.

Later that day, the former chairman of the opposition All People’s Congress, APC, in the Mano Dasse Chiefdom, Musa ‘Tonlongbo’ Fartoma, declared his support for President Bio and apologized to the chiefdom for misleading them in the past to support the APC party.

For More Enquiries: State House Media and Communications Unit


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