Government Completes Payment of Tuition & Public Examination Fees

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The Government of Sierra Leone through the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School had completely paid the tuition and examinations fee respectively for all classes from primary to the end of secondary school.

Below is the press release

PRESS RELEASE (April 23, 2022)

Reopening of Public Schools for Third Term (25th April-15″ July 2022) and other Important information

1. The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) would like to remind all parents, teachers and students that schools will reopen for Third Term on Monday April 25″, 2022 and close on July 15″, 2022.

All students, teachers and staff are expected to be in school from this date right through to the end of the term. Each day is critical to ensuring that all learners complete their syllabuses and are getting relevant skills. Teachers have been trained on the update continues Assessment manuals and are expected to use this for learners move forward. MBSSE continues to work closely with all stakeholders (school leaders, teachers and parents) for the effective delivery of quality education in Sierra Leone.

2. The Ministry also notes with dismay that there are serious misinformation and take materials being shared online by various anonymous persons, many of whom are using foreign numbers. Further investigation reveals that many of these persons engaged in these acts are not teachers. Our teachers are committed to their profession and are not planning to stay away from school. We would like to invite the public to engage government on teacher matters officially through the Teaching Service Commission, Ombudsman’s Office,

Anti-Corruption Commission and several other avenues including a digital public grievance redress and complaint platform (https://grm.tsc.gOv.sl/) Teacher matters must be taken seriously. We stand by our teachers, we honour them, and we’ll continue to work together with them in the interest of all our children.

We are pleased to update the public that last week, the government complete the payment of SLL 58,927,640,000 as second term subsidy/tuition fees for 2,409,851 children in 7,818 schools.in additions government is scheduled to pay to WAEC SLL 86,636,427,000 for 610,488 students taking national and international examination. Pupils in private schools also benefit from this exam fee subsidy at the NPSE and BECE levels.

For the information of the public, the following are the dates for this year’s national transition examinations: National Primary School Examination (NPSE); May 7, 2022 (161,524 candidates) West African Senior Secondary Certificate Examination (WASSCE; May 9″, 2022 – June 24″, 2022 Basic A Education Certificate Examination (BECE) July 25″, 2022-August 3″, 2022 (PROVISIONAL) (191,266 candidates

4. The public is also informed that as part of the Free Education Project, public primary schools will be given Performance Based Financing grants this third term. Each school will be expected to develop School Improvement Plan as well as meet specific targets including attendance of staff and students.

5. Finally, the Ministry and the Teaching Service Commission regularly engage teachers and their various unions and organizations including the Sierra Leone Teachers Union (SLTU), Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (CPSS) and the National council of head Teachers (NaCoHT). In addition in addition to the recent quarterly meeting held at MBSSE, a follow-up engagement has been scheduled with the leaders of these teacher organizations as we seek to address the challenges and associated opportunities related to Teachers, teaching and the Teaching Profession”-a topic being discussed globally in preparation for the United Nations Secretary General’s Transforming Education Summit Co-Chaired by H.E President Julius Maada Bio.

Thank you for your continued support of the Sierra Leone’s Human Capital Development efforts.

UN 2021 Report: An Assessment of Sierra Leone’s Progress under the New Direction

By Cyril Barnes & Mohamed L. Massaquoi

In our maiden article, we explored the strides of His Excellency Dr Julius Maada in the Agricultural Sector in four years, regarding Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Security, and Climatic Resilience as captured in the recent United Nations Country Annual Results Report – 2021.  

We provided an in-depth analysis of the implementation and impact of the Home-Grown School Feeding program, resulting in an exponential growth in school enrolment; the government’s policy shift from subsistence farming to mechanized farming aiming to attract private sector investment, the training of farmers, provision of farmlands and machines, and the increased budgetary allocation to the Ministry of Agriculture, all of which are geared towards addressing food insufficiency.

Transformational Governance

In this article, we dilate on the second thematic area, which is the impact of Transformational Governance in Sierra Leone, looking at structural adjustments in legal reforms, access to justice, gender empowerment, as well as the livelihood improvement of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), which form part of the key contributions of the New Direction administration.

Before 2018, access to justice was a near impossibility; the Justice sector had a centralised system with overpopulated inmates and a limited number of judges to adjudicate cases. In four years, the justice system has been decentralised, with 65 judges and magistrates and paralegals trained to increase legal representation services nationwide. Social Security Courts, Anti-Corruption Courts, and the Sexual Offences Model Court have been established, and both criminal and civil matters have been expeditiously adjudicated.

Mid last year, His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio, through the House of Parliament, expunged Death Penalty—a Capital Punishment—from our law books. Capital punishment was viewed by many as a tool used by past politicians to eliminate political dissidents and opposition members. Today, Sierra Leone stands shoulder-high with the rest of the world to celebrate the abolition of capital punishment.

According to the UN report, there has been improved access to justice, especially to vulnerable populations, including children, women and migrants through the development and review of legal and policy frameworks, strengthening and establishment of local service centres, and provision of direct support to survivors of violence. An improved legal representation resulted in increased convictions for sexual offences and with the UN’s support, the Judiciary, Legal Aid Board (LAB), the Justice Sector Coordination Office and Ministry of Justice increased local access to justice mechanisms through training of paralegals.

Protection of Women and Girls

To combat the increased rate of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence, the government, through the Office of the First Lady, launched the Hands-Off-Our-Girls campaign to raise public awareness and eradicate the harmful practices experienced by women and girls. Her Excellency has succeeded in wooing support across the country through the involvement of traditional and religious leaders. Today, with the heightening awareness, coupled with the strong legal frameworks to punish perpetrators, victims feel more confident than ever before to report whenever they feel abused or threatened.

The One-Stop Centre, an initiative launched by the government to provide survivor-care and psychological support, among others, for victims of gender-based violence, translates further the government’s commitment to protecting women and girls. The UN acknowledged the gains made by the One-Stop Centre and the increasing number of women who have benefited from the service since its launch in 2020.

The Gender Empowerment

The inclusion of women in the affairs of the state has featured in almost every campaign manifesto in Sierra Leone; however, the question has always been: to what extent did successive governments go to actualise what, hitherto, looked like political rhetoric? Well, we have some gains now to celebrate as a nation. In the past four years, we have witnessed genuine efforts being made by the Bio-led government to correct this anomaly. The President has demonstrated this commitment through the appointment of women in top public offices as well as supporting the candidature of Sierra Leonean women on the international stage. Justice Miatta Samba, a Sierra Leonean Judge at the International Criminal Court, would pass for a great example.

On the legislative front, the President has demonstrated willingness to ensure that the long-talked-about Gender Empowerment Bill becomes a reality. Upgrading the financial status of women also forms a component of gender empowerment. Like Linda Renna, a small-scale businesswoman quoted in the UN Report, many women entrepreneurs across the country have benefited from business development training and skills support programs, thereby increasing access to finance and of course, improving their livelihood. This means that, across the country, more homes now have access to “Bread and Butter”.

Rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) 

The UN mentioned the efforts made by the government to improve the welfare of PWDs. The government’s effort has been visible through interventions, like skills development and SME training programs and cash support, as part of sustainable livelihood solutions for PWDs. In a bid to support the most vulnerable in society, the government also supported PWDs with direct cash and other supports at the height of the COVID-19 to cushion the economic impact of the pandemic on their daily livelihood.

In our next publication, we will digress on Access to Basic Services relative to the provision of quality education, Water Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH), and health care as key development components of the New Direction

EDSA Complains of Vandalizing Electrical Installations

The Management of Electricity Distribution and Supply Authority notes with grave concern the recent rate at which unpatriotic and unreasonable citizens are engaged in vandalizing electrical installations particularly in the Western Area, which includes but not limited to Hamilton Village, Ogu Farm, St. Micheals Lakka, Sulpon ,Bathurst, Old Funkia Village, Adonkia 1 and Succex Village.

The Authority wants it to be known that this development is very worrisome as it endangers the lives of community residents by exposing naked cables which threaten their safety and security and also deprive right thinking members of the society from enjoying their inalienable rights to access electricity. Such barbaric acts should not be tolerated.

The Authority is therefore calling on all communities that are connected to the grid to reinforce their vigilance in different localities with a view to ensuring the safety and security of installed transformers and accessories.

Furthermore, the Authority is requesting the general public to intercept whosoever attempts to gain access to the Authority’s substations by demanding that they produce Identification Cards or any other necessary details or permit to work,and if need be, verify by calling the 672 or 079695104.

Moreover, if any person is suspected of carrying EDSA cables or stealing at any of our substations, please report by calling the police line on 124 and the Office of National Security on 119 at no cost.

Meanwhile, the Authority will continue its strides to ensure the provision of electricity to Sierra Leoneans but would as well want the public to know that any community that wilfully neglects the safety and security of electrical installations will bear the consequences.

Help sustain and maintain power supply in your community by reporting illegal invasion into our electrical installations

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