The Chinese Ambassador to Sierra Leone, His Excellency Hu Zhangliang held an online meeting and shared the experience of the Communist Party of China (CPC) with the Sierra Leone’s People’s Party National Young Generation Council (NYGC).
The meeting, co-organized by the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone and the SLPP Youth Wing, was attended by Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to China, His Excellency Ernest Ndomahina, the SLPP Secretary General Hon. Umaru Napoleon Koroma, the SLPP Organizing Secretary Hon. Musa Moigua, the NYGC leader Ing. Francis Kallon, the NYGC Deputy Leader and other 120 members.
Ambassador Hu began his remarks by acknowledging that the ongoing Beijing 2022 Winter Olympic is a show of China’s national strength which in turn speaks volumes for the strong leadership of the CPC.
Ambassador Hu elaborated on the experiences of the CPC’s great successes in its century-long journey from five aspects.
The first is People-Centered Philosophy and Policies.
Ambassador Hu pointed out that since its founding in 1921, the CPC has remained true to its original aspiration and mission of seeking happiness for the Chinese people and rejuvenation for the Chinese nation. Staying committed to communist ideals and socialist convictions, the CPC has united and led the Chinese people of all ethnic groups in working tirelessly to achieve national independence and liberation, and then to make China prosperous and strong. Numerous Party leaders and members sacrificed a lot, including even their precious lives, for the betterment of the people. President Xi Jinping, who is also the General Secretary of the CPC, has profound love for the people and has always directed that all China’s policies should put people in the first place. As a result, the Chinese people wholeheartedly support the CPC and the approval rate for the CPC and the Chinese government is above 90% according to many international surveys.
The second is theoretical and practical innovation.
Ambassador Hu explained that another fundamental reason behind the great achievements of the CPC is the guidance of scientific theories. In the course of revolutionary struggle and socialist construction, CPC has been committed to the true strength of Marxism: freeing minds, seeking truth from facts, advancing with the times, and applying a realistic and pragmatic approach. The CPC has abided by the principle that practice is the sole criterion for testing truth and grounded all its efforts in reality. Furthermore, the CPC has provided prompt answers to the questions of our times and our people, and kept adapting Marxism to the Chinese context and the needs of our times. Currently, the CPC is guided by Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era on its march toward the great national rejuvenation.
The third is adhering to the Leadership of the Party and Constantly Strengthening the Building of the Party.
Ambassador Hu stated that adherence to the CPC’s leadership is the fundamental political assurance for realizing the Chinese dream of the great national rejuvenation. The leadership of the CPC in China has been shaped by history and is the choice of the people. Nowadays the CPC has over 95 million members. Such a big party in a big country like China must have a strong leadership core. The Resolution of the Sixth Plenary Session of the 19th Central Committee states, “The Party has established Comrade Xi Jinping’s core position in the Party Central Committee and in the Party as a whole, and defined the guiding role of Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era. This reflects the common will of the Party, the armed forces and the Chinese people of all ethnic groups, and is of decisive significance for advancing the cause of the Party and the country in the new era and for driving forward the historic process of national rejuvenation. ” The Party has always attached great importance to the building of the Party, committed to improving Party conduct, upholding integrity and combating corruption, which explains why the Party has always maintained its vitality and won the support of the people.
The fourth is the united front.
Ambassador Hu averred that the CPC has always attached great importance to the building of a united front, uniting all forces that can be united, safeguarding the interests of the people instead of pursuing its own special interests and denouncing the “winner-takes-all” mentality. Under the leadership of the CPC, China gathers the strength of the people through the whole-process people’s democracy, which includes all the elements of democratic politics such as electoral democracy, consultative democracy, social democracy, grassroots democracy and civic democracy. It is a model of socialist democracy that covers all aspects of the democratic process and all sectors of society. It is a true democracy that works and has effectively ensured that all Chinese people manage state affairs through various channels and forms.
The fifth is an independent foreign policy of peace.
Ambassador Hu stressed that since the founding of the People’s Republic of China, the CPC has adhered to an independent foreign policy of peace, advocated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, firmly safeguarded national independence, sovereignty and dignity. In the new era, with the international balance of power undergoing profound adjustments, the CPC Central Committee with President Xi Jinping at its core proposes to develop a new type of international relations, promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, champion the shared human values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy, and freedom, and steer the tide of human progress.
Ambassador Hu concluded his speech by stating that the CPC and SLPP have enjoyed solid friendship and held exchanges and discussions on important issues such as governance, national development, poverty reduction, youth and women’s empowerment. This helped constantly enrich and elevate China-Sierra Leone relationship to a new high. In last May, President Xi Jinping and President Julius Maada Bio had a telephone conversation and reached new consensuses on the development of China-Sierra Leone relations. This year, China will continue to work with Sierra Leone to implement the top leaders’ consensuses and the outcomes of the FOCAC conference, strengthen solidarity and cooperation, achieve common development and progress, promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and jointly create a better future.
Sierra Leone’s Ambassador to China, H.E Ernest Ndomahina extended sincere congratulations for the ongoing Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics. He noted that both the SLPP and CPC have common belief in people-centered philosophy and respect for party leadership. He said he was greatly impressed and admired the massive poverty alleviation strategy that CPC has undertaken to lift its people out of poverty.
The SLPP Secretary General, Umaru Napoleon Koroma, thanked Ambassador Hu for his remarks that have given them a clear picture of what CPC has done for the people of China and share with them the valuable experience of leading China towards major achievements. He agreed with the importance of the strong leadership of a Party. He recalled his visit to China at the invitation by the CPC that changed his views on China. He reaffirmed the SLPP party has always been a great friend of the CPC and it will continue to be committed to the One China policy.
Francis Alpha Kallon, the National Young Generation Council Leader of SLPP, said their SLPP party has produced best leaders since independence, pointing to recent appointment of President Bio as the AU Chairman on Africa Peer Review Mechanism (APRM). He said President Bio has set the path for poverty alleviation by making education a key priority in the country. He appealed for an exchange program between the SLPP Youth wing and the CPC youth wing as well. He praised Ambassador Ndomahina for helping organize the meeting between the SLPP NYGC and the Chinese Embassy in Sierra Leone.
Before the meeting was concluded, Ambassador Hu also answered questions raised by the attendees on how the CPC overcame the challenges during its early tough days, and what role they youths have been playing in the CPC’s development.
World Bank Commits to support Education
The World Bank Regional Vice President for Western and Central Africa, Mr. Ousmane Diagana during his visit to Sierra Leone has pledged the Bank commitment to providing financial resources and technical advice to Sierra Leone so that the country’s education system will continue to work and deliver for its people.
Mr Diagana made this commitment on Thursday 30th February 2022 during his visit to Saint Luke’s Primary School Wilberforce Freetown.
“I am pleased that the World Bank has made the decision to allocate 50 million Dollars to support the education system in Sierra Leone. Education is at the center of our priorities for Sierra Leone, currently we have a portfolio of 76.85 million dollars. This comes as an addition to the number of education projects that we have funded in Sierra Leone,” he said.
He stressed the importance of education, noting that if dignitaries present are opportune to sit on the occasion high table is all because they have the opportunity to go to school and benefit from excellent teachers, noting that coming from a developing country, if he can occupy such position is because of education.
“School is a game changer; education system is a game changer. I would like to commend the authorities in Sierra Leone for their vision of having an education system which is inclusive, accessible, and aims at achieving quality. I have the opportunity this morning to congratulate the President of Sierra Leone for allocating 22% of the country’s budget to education and I would also like to congratulate the Minister and the leadership of Basic and Senior Secondary Education for his leadership and vision,” he said.
He also commended the government of Sierra Leone for making education accessible to the vulnerable groups, for providing teaching and learning materials to pupils/students, for creating an environment that will not only attract children but also retain them in the education system, for creating an environment that will make the pupils/students wake up every morning and be pleased to go school.
The Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education Dr David Moinina Sengeh said the Ministry’s leadership decided to choose Saint Luke’s because it is one of the schools that the Ministry has implemented many of the activities they have with the World Bank Project.
He said one of the most exciting thing is that they engage teachers and do a lot of teachers training from Pre Primary to Primary 1-3 and that is why the recent Early Grade Reading Assessment and Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGRA/EGMA) study shows significant improvement, adding that this is very important because it lays the foundation necessary for any transformation across the country.
The Minister used the platform to launch the distribution of teaching and learning materials that have been procured by the government of Sierra Leone budget and these teaching and learning materials will be going to schools and about 84% of schools in Sierra Leone are public schools.
“The items will be handed over to the School authority and the Management Committee (SMC) for these teaching and learning materials to be used by the pupils,” he said.
While explaining the status of implementation, the Sierra Leone Free Education Project (SL-FEP) Coordinator Mr. Ambrose Sesay said the Project Development Objective of FEP is to improve management of the Education System, to improve Teaching Practices and improve Learning Conditions.
He said on improving management of the Education System, School Catchment Area and Rationalization Plan in place and associated transparent criterion-based school approval, and financing process implemented, adding that one National Learning Assessment (NLA) conducted and findings disseminated.
He said on Improving Teaching Services, the percentage of teachers receiving project supported training demonstrating improved teaching practices in the classroom.
And on improved learning conditions, the share of Performance Based Funding Schools meeting 85% of student attendance rate, noting that significant number of students benefiting from improved learning environment (number female)