The World Bank Regional Vice President for Western and Central Africa, Mr. Ousmane Diagana during his visit to Sierra Leone has pledged the Bank commitment to providing financial resources and technical advice to Sierra Leone so that the country’s education system will continue to work and deliver for its people.
Mr Diagana made this commitment on Thursday 30th February 2022 during his visit to Saint Luke’s Primary School Wilberforce Freetown.
“I am pleased that the World Bank has made the decision to allocate 50 million Dollars to support the education system in Sierra Leone. Education is at the center of our priorities for Sierra Leone, currently we have a portfolio of 76.85 million dollars. This comes as an addition to the number of education projects that we have funded in Sierra Leone,” he said.
He stressed the importance of education, noting that if dignitaries present are opportune to sit on the occasion high table is all because they have the opportunity to go to school and benefit from excellent teachers, noting that coming from a developing country, if he can occupy such position is because of education.
“School is a game changer; education system is a game changer. I would like to commend the authorities in Sierra Leone for their vision of having an education system which is inclusive, accessible, and aims at achieving quality. I have the opportunity this morning to congratulate the President of Sierra Leone for allocating 22% of the country’s budget to education and I would also like to congratulate the Minister and the leadership of Basic and Senior Secondary Education for his leadership and vision,” he said.
He also commended the government of Sierra Leone for making education accessible to the vulnerable groups, for providing teaching and learning materials to pupils/students, for creating an environment that will not only attract children but also retain them in the education system, for creating an environment that will make the pupils/students wake up every morning and be pleased to go school.
The Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education Dr David Moinina Sengeh said the Ministry’s leadership decided to choose Saint Luke’s because it is one of the schools that the Ministry has implemented many of the activities they have with the World Bank Project.
He said one of the most exciting thing is that they engage teachers and do a lot of teachers training from Pre Primary to Primary 1-3 and that is why the recent Early Grade Reading Assessment and Early Grade Mathematics Assessment (EGRA/EGMA) study shows significant improvement, adding that this is very important because it lays the foundation necessary for any transformation across the country.
The Minister used the platform to launch the distribution of teaching and learning materials that have been procured by the government of Sierra Leone budget and these teaching and learning materials will be going to schools and about 84% of schools in Sierra Leone are public schools.
“The items will be handed over to the School authority and the Management Committee (SMC) for these teaching and learning materials to be used by the pupils,” he said.
While explaining the status of implementation, the Sierra Leone Free Education Project (SL-FEP) Coordinator Mr. Ambrose Sesay said the Project Development Objective of FEP is to improve management of the Education System, to improve Teaching Practices and improve Learning Conditions.
He said on improving management of the Education System, School Catchment Area and Rationalization Plan in place and associated transparent criterion-based school approval, and financing process implemented, adding that one National Learning Assessment (NLA) conducted and findings disseminated.
He said on Improving Teaching Services, the percentage of teachers receiving project supported training demonstrating improved teaching practices in the classroom.
And on improved learning conditions, the share of Performance Based Funding Schools meeting 85% of student attendance rate, noting that significant number of students benefiting from improved learning environment (number female).
Strategic Communications Analyst