Sunday, October 17, 2021

Many Sierra Leone Teachers Without Pay Yet President Bio Awards 48 on World Teachers Day

By Abu Shaw in London (10/10/2021)

Hypocritical and deceptive politics on a grandiose scale have been executed by the Sierra Leone President Maada Bio on World Teachers Day observance.

As Sierra Leone many teachers go without their salaries for months now, the deceptive President Bio has recently celebrated World Teachers’ Day by carefully selecting 48 teachers for so-called outstanding work and rewarded them with Awards for excellent performances. In the same token, there are presently dozens of Sierra Leone teachers who are yet to receive their salaries among other civil servants in the country today. (Photo: Education Minister Dr David Moinina Sengeh, is the worst and most corrupt Education Minister ever in Sierra Leone).

This is a classic example of the double standard and hypocrisy of the highest order being exhibited by the failed SLPP government of President Bio and his corrupt Education Ministry. The so-called champion of ‘Free Quality Education’ – as propounded worldwide in the SLPP manifesto during the 2018 elections that catapulted President Bio to State House – is yet to be realised in totality, as confirmed by the majority of impoverished parents in Sierra Leone today.

Despite these loopholes, the SLPP government continues to go cap in hand to international partners for finances through grants and so on so as to give the impression that these monies are spent for the intended purposes i.e. to beef up the non-existent ‘Free Quality Education’ in Sierra Leone. Most parents are today footing the bills to sustain their children’s education in primary and secondary schools where the SLPP government is fibbing with confidence that the government is paying school fees for the children.

President Bio’s recent Big Lie on the so-called ‘Free Quality Education’ was unleashed on the floor of the United Nations General Assembly where he lied that parents are saving $500 US dollars for each child every year because of the government subsidies on free education. It means, if a parent has four children, he/she would save $2,000 US dollars annually in Sierra Leone! President Bio’s Big Lie is still being felt in homes through the length and breadth of the country.

“I cannot even raise enough money to buy school uniforms, books, pens, pencils, shoes for my two children, yet the government is telling the world that we are saving such amounts because of Free Quality Education,” an angry parent noted in Freetown. President Bio is continuously fooling the outside world and by giving ridiculous Awards to 48 teachers for excellent performances, it is just one of the smokescreens the SLPP government is using to fib. Presently, all their own school-going children ranging from the President, the government Ministers, and other top functionaries are attending expensive private schools in Sierra Leone and overseas. This is the hypocrisy of the highest order which the financiers should take note of! (Photo: President Bio is a liar).

 

As the 48 selected teachers and their families and friends glow during the recent Awards ceremony organised by the worst Education Minister in Sierra Leone’s history in the person of Dr David Moinina Sengeh, hundreds of primary and secondary teachers around the country are waiting to receive their monthly salaries. Videos and audios have confirmed that many other civil servants including doctors, workers at the National Electoral Commission NEC, nurses have not been paid for the month of September.

Other civil servants who are without pay at the moment are the police, military. Political observers are putting two and two together and they believe that government is broke financially which is the main reason for non-payment. There is no more money in the country. The Bank of Sierra Leone says money is in short supply. This would not surprise Sierra Leoneans because a few months ago, the Bank Governor Dr Kaifala Kallon shockingly told the world that there is no more money in the banks. The public believes it is the same situation today.

Sierra Leone’s most famous social media activist Mr Will Kamara popularly known as Adebayor has consistently said in his daily audios from his base in Holland that the SLPP government is totally broke thanks to rampant corruption in high places. However, the SLPP Media continues to spread lies to stakeholders in and outside the country by painting glowing pictures of the failed SLPP government, while the people of Sierra Leone continue to suffer silently untold hardships hitherto unknown in the country’s history. Here is the SLPP government press statement about the Awards to the 48 teachers –

Sierra Leone’s President Julius Maada Bio Celebrates World Teachers’ Day, Rewards 48 Outstanding Teachers

Freetown International Conference Center, Freetown Tuesday 5 October 2021 – President Julius Maada Bio has celebrated this year’s World Teachers’ Day at the presidential national best teacher award ceremony, organised by the country’s Teaching Service Commission.  “If a bare-footed, five-year-old village boy, who stare in awe and with great curiosity on his first day at school, today holds degrees from institutions of higher learning, can speak English and French, use technology, think critically, interact freely with world leaders, and is today President of the this Republic of Sierra Leone, it is all because of the sacrifice, care, nurture, and patience of teachers,” he said.  

He added that as a President, he had prioritised investing in people because it was the only enduring, inclusive, and sustainable pathway to developing the country, noting that central to that investment was the free quality education that was universally and equally accessible to all. “Therefore, on this day set aside as World Teachers’ Day, it is all appropriate to celebrate, to honour, and to thank every teacher for all they have done. Through war and through pestilence, teachers have been at the very heart of our nation’s resilience and recovery. Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, they kept schools open, imparted knowledge with characteristic selflessness, patiently prepared students for transitional examinations, and continued to mould and open minds as they are wont,” he said. (Photo: Education has worsened in the country since President Bio took power).

 

President Bio said it was important to honour those teachers who might have been mocked, ridiculed, and under-appreciated for choosing a profession that did not bestow instant monetary wealth upon them. “Today is about recognising communicators, influencers, opinion makers, caregivers; people who serve with empathy; who mould character, instill discipline and respect; who empower; who give passions, imaginations, hopes, and dreams an opportunity to blossom,” he noted, adding that the day was also about thanking those who when children had doubts, made mistakes, were unsure and frustrated, would patiently stand by and assure them that the best was always in them. 

Giving an overview of the selection process that led to the winners of the Presidential National Teachers Awards, the  Chief Executive Officer for Teach For Salone, Madam Josephine Saidu said she was honoured and delighted to have been a part of the selection process, saying that many stakeholders like members of Council of Principals, Members of Parliament, the Sierra Leone Association of Journalists, the Inter-religious Council and chiefdom stakeholders which she said made the process very transparent and credible. 

The World Bank Country Manager, Abdu Muwonge, expressed gratitude and congratulated the government for what he called the huge accomplishments in the education sector, adding that the achievement of the country in transforming education was being echoed everywhere around the world.  “It is important to note that as we gather here today to honour teachers, parents too have a role to play to keep the children in school. Teachers have played a critical role in this country, he stated. World Bank Country boss affirmed that the bank and other partners would continue to work together to improve the condition of service for the teachers and make the learning environment more comfortable for all actors.

The Minister of Basic and Secondary School Education, Dr Moinina David Sengeh told the gathering that the Award Ceremony was a fulfillment of a manifesto promise in 2018 by President Julius Maada Bio when he was a presidential aspirant.  Dr Sengeh noted that since the SLPP came to power in 2018, a lot of transformation had happened in the education sector, of which he said there had been more than a 30% increase in enrolment and about 22% annual budget allocation to strengthen education in the country. “Our work and the progress have attracted more funding. Very recently the Global Education Summit in London, Sierra Leone is now eligible for a $40 million grant for the education sector. We have trained more teachers, recruited more teachers and we have empowered Inspectors of Schools to monitor teachers’ performance. We have done a lot, and more is to be done,” he assured. Courtesy: State House Media and Communications Unit This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

Patriotic Citizens – Adebayor is Right About Money Shortage in Sierra Leone and Why Civil Servants are Unpaid!

                

By Del Ceesay

When the name Adebayor is mentioned in Sierra Leone, it comes to millions of Sierra Leoneans with mixed feelings based on the sides the person is. Adebayor in Togo is celebrated as a footballer while Adebayor in Sierra Leone is celebrated as a social media activist. A name that is spiteful to the ruling SLPP government and its supporters, a name they detest so much, maybe, even more than the DEVIL. Sometimes last year, Adebayor made several broadcasts claiming that the government is bankrupt and that there were no monies in the banks. A lot of people took that as mere propaganda that is what he is actually good at. A few months later, that was evidently seen, as most of the banks in the country ran out of money.

              

Similarly again, Adebayor is making the same claims he did last year that the government is running short of money; in essence, there is no money in the country. Can this be true? This is what is left to be proven. Sierra Leoneans have begun to digest that as a painful and bitter truth, an experience people may not want to go through again. The government, up to the 30th of September 2021, has not been able to pay salaries to its workers. The police, military, teachers, nurses, who are amongst the public sectors that receive salaries earlier, have not been able to get alerts of the availabilities of salaries. Government workers are seen everywhere grumbling and complaining about the delay of salaries payment.

This medium was present at an Eatery shop (cookery shop) near the National Electoral Commission NEC office, where NEC workers were heard expressing concerns over the delay of salaries payments. Noting that, it’s something they are no longer used to. What this government is failing to realise is that people’s salaries do not take them till the end of the month, not to talk of adding additional days at the end of the months before they are paid. Is it true that the government is running short of money is something that is becoming a reality. So Adebayor may actually be correct that the government won’t be able to pay salaries in months to come, as that is what workers have started to experience. A few months ago, this medium actually praised the Minister of Finance for the prompt payment of salaries, as if it was just camouflage.

“Di Minista Na White Fol, Wey U Praise Am Fo in Whiteness, I Go Rub Na Dorti”. Workers are earnestly waiting and hoping to get their salaries for this month of September. They are calling on the government to please do the needful. Most teachers have said that if salaries are not paid soon, they will go to schools, but will not teach. Prompt payment of salaries is not something new the late President Tejan Kabbah set the high standard, followed by former President Ernest Koroma. Workers are no longer used to getting salaries late, so the government needs to act at once, as people have already begun to feel the pinch.

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