18th November 2021
City Center, Doha
Sierra Leone’s Non-Resident Ambassador to the State of Qatar, Her Excellency Haja Ishata Thomas, has engaged the new Minister of Education and Higher Education, H E Buthaina Ali Al-Nuaimi, on Free Quality Education program for Sierra Leone.
The Republic of Sierra Leone and the State of Qatar signed the
Cooperation in the field of Education, Higher Education, Scientific Research specifically in school management and leadership, learning and teaching,
curriculum standards, teachers’ professional development, needs of additional support for students in 2018. The Republic of Sierra Leone has ratified the Education Agreement and awaits the State of Qatar to do same for its subsequent implementation.
Referring to the previous meeting held in Doha in 2020 after the presentation of her Credentials, she added that a number of areas were discussed extensively, amongst which were the provision of professional for teachers/lecturers/lmams, students exchange programmes, provision of scholarship opportunities, learning materials and construction of additional classrooms in remote areas of Sierra Leone.
“Education is the backbone to a nation’s development. Noting its significance, Sierra Leone has taken a bold step to invest in education in which 22% of the country’s budget has been allocated to the educational sector thereby resulting over two million pupils have been enrolled in three years. The Free Quality Education rolled out in 2018 is His Excellency the President, Dr Julius Maada Bio’s flagship program to develop Sierra Leone’s Human Capital as espoused in the country’s development blueprint: the Medium-Term National Development Plan 2019-2023.
“Our purpose of this visit is to strengthen cooperation with Qatar to boost Sierra Leone’s educational sector. We look forward to the implementation of feasible projects leading to the development of the country’s educational sector,” she mentioned.
In her response, the newly appointed Minister of Education and Higher Education, H E Buthaina Ali Al-Nuaimi, conveyed heartfelt appreciation for the engagement, describing education as an important tool to deepen ties between the two countries. On implementation projects, she disclosed that the State of Qatar roll out education projects through the Qatar Fund for Arab Economic Development and the “Education Above All” project.
“Student scholarship programmes have been discussed already and awarding of scholarships to deserving Sierra Leoneans depends on several factors ranging from areas of study to languages. Cooperation in education requires coordination; the starting point will be finalizing the agreement and appointing focal persons to work on the details. In terms of training programmes for teachers, the pandemic has increased our reliance on technology. We will explore online training for teachers,” the Minister said.
Sierra Leone Embassy, the State of Kuwait