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HomeLocal NewsMinistry of Basic & Senior Secondary Education to Launch Youth Advisory Group  

Ministry of Basic & Senior Secondary Education to Launch Youth Advisory Group  

The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) in partnership with Plan International Sierra Leone will be establishing a Youth Advisory Group by April this year, with the strategic goal of engaging young people in internal decision-making at all levels in a spirit of collaboration, transparency and mutual learning.  

During a roundtable discussion held on Thursday 27th January at the Ministry Conference Hall, New England Ville in Freetown, the Minister Dr. David Moinina Sengeh stated that last November during the COP26 Summit in Glasgow, he made a commitment to establish a Youth Advisory Group and it is important for the Ministry to begin to actualize that pronouncement two months later.  

He said after the establishment, the Ministry will try its level best in ensuring that this Youth Advisory Board goes into the Education Act and this will make it part of the structure in MBSSE. 

“The Ministry is providing services for close to three million people which is close to 50 percent of the country’s population. So it doesn’t make sense if young people are not part of the architecture of that decision making. We are starting small with the Youth Advisory Group and that is why we brought them here today in order to brainstorm which will inform the final design of the program,” the minister said. 

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The Country Director of Plan International Sierra Leone Mr. Evariste Sindayigaya said for Plan, they recognized that by not including young people in their planning and decision making processes, everything they do including governance they are losing huge opportunity, not only in terms of legitimacy or the value of decisions they make, but also the unique perspective that young people bring to their work. 

“Young people, the future will be kind to you if you contribute in writing it, and I can’t be more excited today to say that the Honorable Minister and the leadership of the Ministry has given you a platform to join them in writing your own history, your own future, therefore do not underestimate this opportunity,” he said.  

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He said their responsibility with support from MBSSE is to make sure that they develop together pathways of young people into leadership, and it is towards this objective they will direct their effort, energy and resources. 

“I want to make a commitment that Plan International Sierra Leone will continue to make sure that the voices of young people are heard and are valued,” he said. 

The Deputy Minister of Education (1) encouraged young people to continue to break barriers, noting that they are on the verge of leaving and they need vibrant young people to take after them.  

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Youth Advocacy Group will comprise sixteen members each representing their own district, four (4) members – one each from the following groups: Special needs Institution, Parent Learners, Tertiary or Vocational Institutions; and Remote/hard-to-reach area, and a minimum of eight (8) females.  

The most important selection criteria for YAG members will be that they are creative and innovative thinkers and highly motivated to drive change. Formal educational qualification will not be a criterion for selection. Rather, the selection process will identify young people with bright minds and high potential.  

During the roundtable discussion, Sorie Korombo and Mariam Samai who are youths working with Plan International Sierra Leone, did a presentation on what young people desire from the  Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education when the Youth Advisory Group is established. 

Augustine Sankoh 

Strategic Communications Analyst MBSSE 

Email: asankoh@education.gov.so 

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