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President Bio appoints National Program Coordinator for Free Quality Education

28 August 2018 at 13:14 | 3812 views

By Paul Duwai-Sowa (PDS) Toronto, Canada

Amara S. M. Sowa, former Principal of a private Christian institution, Every Nation College in Bo City has been appointed by His Excellency President Bio as the National Program Coordinator, a role that will provide strategic oversight for the ambitious and enterprising Free Quality Education Program at the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education.

The new position of National Program Coordinator will advise the government and provide high quality program leadership, initiatives and management of strategic decisions which directly impact the operations and priorities in the business plan and overall strategic plan and objectives of the free quality education program.

As part of its mandate, the Program Coordinator will evaluate the free quality education policy and provide recommendations to the President to enhance the access, quality and accountability of the program.

Who is Amara Sowa?

Amara Sowa (photo) draws upon a distinguished background and career in education and government. He began his career in education as a Research and Teaching Assistant at Fourah Bay College (USL) and a secondary school Teacher at the Albert Academy in Freetown.

During the RUF onslaught on Sierra Leone, Sowa moved to a neighbouring country, Guinea where he served as Director of Education at the Pentecostal Assembles of Canada Mission in Conakry. He pioneered and successfully implemented a novel educational program in the mission that helped to prepare lots of Anglophone school children for tertiary education. Sowa has continued as an education consultant with impeccable skills in the field of education on related projects.

Amara Sowa holds an Honours BA from Fourah Bay College, University of Sierra Leone (USL), M.Sc. in Development Studies, Njala University and certificates in Town Government Management, Project Management and Inclusive Education. He is bilingual – English and French, and he has co-authored publications on Women, Peace and Security.

When local government was introduced by the late President Kabbah in 2004, Amara Sowa was hired as one of the first Regional Directors at the Decentralization Secretariat, Ministry of Local Government where he was involved in institutional reform and capacity building of citizens and local communities in national public policy and governance decision making. He was recognized by President Kabbah for his creativity, innovation, and commitment to local governance. Sowa also served as Regional Project Manager at Plan International where he managed the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) funded Ebola response project in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone.

In addition to his extensive experience with government, Amara Sowa has accepted other assignments such as assisting a children’s disability agency looking at its strategic direction. He was Project Manager with Inclusive Education, West Africa Regional Office. The Project focused on increasing the accessibility of primary education to disabled children.

Notwithstanding the financially constrained times of the Bio Government, Sowa will be focusing on the strategic, purposeful and effective delivery of the resourceful free quality education program. As the National Program Coordinator, Amara Sowa will lead the coordination, monitoring and reporting of the performance measurement and evaluation framework, including key performance indicators (KPI) to measure and report on the program’s implementation and outcomes ensuring the free education policy meets its overall objectives and goals. He is expected in his role to identify and assess risks including assessing the practical, or other implications, and ensure that all relevant issues are identified and evaluated. Sowa’s office will also bring evidence-based research to the continued improvement of the free quality education program in Sierra Leone

Amara Sowa is acutely aware that among the competing priorities of the Bio Government, the Free Quality Education Program is the President’s number one priority so he has set up an ambitious agenda from the moment he was appointed. To set the tone, Sowa mentioned that his main goal is, “to actualize the President’s vision of the free quality education program that is so desperately needed and deserving of Sierra Leone in the 21st century.”

In reaching that goal Sowa is seeking to enhance the free quality education’s reputation nationally and ensure that the program becomes the legacy of President Bio and the development engine for Sierra Leone.

“Sierra Leone is changing rapidly, and I’m excited to take on this responsibility to work with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, our partners and parents across this country to ensure that the free quality education program is at the forefront of this change,” said Amara Sowa on the day of his appointment.

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