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Sierra Leone: First 100 days’ achievements of the Bio government

28 July 2018 at 00:42 | 4052 views

Prepared by the Office of the Press Secretary, State House, Freetown

Human Development

His Excellency the President has prioritized Education as a conduit to transform Sierra Leone’s natural and mineral resources into sustainable development. This is primarily because Education helps lift people out of poverty and creates vast new opportunities to reduce unfair income distribution and increase choices.

Achievements – Part 1

1. Within First 100 Days, the Government announced the implementation of the Free Education Programme that will commence in September 2018 targeting an estimated total enrolment of 2,141,356 pupils.

2. Government announced the provision of teaching and learning materials amounting to Le5.3 billion to all Government and Government-assisted schools.

3. Government announced school feeding programme for schools in remote communities. An amount of Le69.6 billion is provided in the revised budget for this activity.

4. Government announced that every child in Government and Government-assisted Schools would be entitled to 5 textbooks each for the five core subjects. An amount of Le 19.9 billion is allocated as 10 percent advance payment to procure text books for the five core subjects to improve the text book to pupil ratio from 3:1 to 1:1.

5. Government announced that the outstanding Examination fees for NPSE, BECE and WASSCE for all the just concluded examinations estimated at Le 26.5 billion, would now be paid to the West African Examination Council (WAEC).

6. Government announced the elimination of SS4 with effect from the 2018/19 academic year as promised in the New Direction. Government will pay an additional one-month salary in the month of August to all teachers teaching SS3 pupils to provide additional classes over the summer holidays to pupils promoting to SS3 to catch up with those already in SS3 that were to proceed to SS4.

7. Government announced grant dispensation for the payment of outstanding bills owed to suppliers providing diets to all Government Boarding schools to enable them provide regular diet supplies to pupils over the holidays up to the end of the first term. Institutional support for the free education programme is allocated Le6.0 billion.

8. Government announced the provision of School Buses for which an amount of Le12.0 billion has been provided as advance payment for the procurement of fifty (50) school buses to be managed by the City Councils on a cost recovery basis. The objective is to reduce the cost of transportation for school children while ensuring that they are regular and punctual in schools.

9. Government announced the introduction of a conditional cash transfer programme for the education sector to encourage very poor parents to allow their children to go to school instead of sending them out to engage in street trading and hawking.

10. President Bio announced the elimination of the payment for Application Forms for Admission to the Universities and an allocation of Le5.6 billion is provided in this budget to cover the cost of University Application Forms for the 2018/19 academic year.

11. Government announced the commencement of a National Student Loan Scheme in the second half of the 2018/2019 Academic Year and has allocated the sum of Le2.0 billion to support start-up institutional arrangements and operations.

12. In line with the President’s statement on the official opening of Parliament to support adult literacy, Government has announced the provision of Le2.4 billion in the domestic capital budget to support adult functional education in all 14 provincial and the Western Area districts.

13. Government announced salary increase for Civil Servants in Grades 1- 6. Government is providing 10 percent of the basic salary of all civil servants, teachers, police, military, correctional services and National fire Authority in grades 1 to 6 as transport allowance. This will cost Government Le24.6 billion for the second half of the year and benefit 49,181 Government workers, which account for 71 percent of the public-sector work force.

14. Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education has established committees to support the Free Education Programme: Inter-Ministerial & Partners Group (IMPG), Technical Committee and Ward Education Committee produced.

15. The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education has commenced the preparation for the establishment of a Multi Donor Trust Fund (MDTF) which will be basket fund to support free education.

*Note: Human Development is one of four components of the New Direction Manifesto. In this series, exclusively on Human Development, you see instances of how the New Direction Government raises hopes, by giving priority to human development, starting with free preprimary, primary and secondary education; innovation directorate; technical & vocational and tertiary education in a country where standards have fallen.

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