By Amin Kef Sesay
Dr. David Moinina Sengeh the Minister of Basic Education and Professor Dr. Alpha Tejan Wurie, the Minister of Higher and Technical Education, have on the 2nd September , 2021 briefed the public on progress in the education sector. The briefing took place at the Conference Room of the Ministry of Information and Communications.
Dr. David Moinina Sengeh intimated that the Basic Entrance Certificate Examination results were released in record time to enhance quality education. He stated that during the new academic year, SSS1 pupils will have the opportunity to start school in the first term.
He stated that the early release of BECE results will prevent teenage pregnancy maintaining how he has been committed in eliminating the slogan “after BECE na beleh” and give girls the chance to be educated and waste no time.
The Minister disclosed how the Ministry is putting together a syllabus for SSS pupils stating how he wants those pupils to complete their syllabus in time for the public exam.
He further revealed how the Ministry is working to enhance quality into the educational system stating that they have implemented radio teaching service and also embarked on training of teachers.
More schools had 100% pass rate while less schools got 0% pass rate in the BECE. Schools will reopen on Monday September 6, 2021.
Dr. David Sengeh said that the Ministry has deployed technology to improve learning such as the *846# to check dictionary on your phone, the 468 SMS facility to check results and placement in school and also the 8060 toll free line to report and enquire on school activities.
He also divulged that the Ministry will launch sixty (60) Early Childhood Development (ECD) centers across the country. The Minister said the move is to make provision for early learning and prepare the kids before entering primary school.
On his part the Minister of Technical and Higher Education, Prof. Alpha Wurie, said about six thousand one hundred and twenty five (6125) students applied for the Sierra Leone Government Grant-in-Aid in all 16 districts but only two thousand seven hundred (2700) were awarded the scholarship.
He also disclosed that every district has a Scholarship Committee that includes ACC and CSO representatives adding that priority was given to students offering programs in the Sciences, Technology, Engineering, Agriculture, Mathematics (STEAM), Medicine, French and Tourism.
He also revealed that first year students are exempted from the Government scholarship but first year female students from STEAM were granted the scholarship.
STEAM applicants for the academic year were 520 and all were awarded the scholarship including 100 teachers who applied for the award and 90 were awarded.
The Minister of Technical and Higher Education also disclosed that the University Act 2021 has been signed by the President and therefore all universities will have their Chancellors as promised by President Julius Maada Bio.