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HomeEducationPerformance Gap between Public and Private Schools is a socio-economic Problem

Performance Gap between Public and Private Schools is a socio-economic Problem

-Education Minister

The Minister of Basic and Senior School Education Dr. David Moinina Sengeh has called on Sierra Leoneans not to consider the performance gap between public and private schools to rate the efficiency of the Free Quality School Education (FQSE), but rather consider it as a socio-economic problem.

He made this disclosure on Thursday 2nd September during the weekly Government Press Briefing at the Ministry of Information and Communications Conference Hall in Freetown.

“Somebody’s child who can go to private school, are most times given lesson fee or are provided with private teachers; having sound breakfast before going to school, their parents monitor their learning process including going to Parent Teachers’ Association (PTA) meetings, finish their syllabus in time; and you think some other children whose parents do not monitor their academic work or having the kind of learning environment as in the private school should perform better,” he asked.

According to him, there is no part in the world where socio-economic challenges do not affect learning outcomes, adding that this is why President Julius Maada Bio must be commended for steps taken to help narrow the gap between private and public schools in the country.

Dr. Sengeh however stated that data shows that public schools are equally doing well, noting that private schools are only sixteen percent of schools in the country, and performance in public examinations should not be only limited to individual performance but the passing rate as well.

He said as a Ministry, they are more concerned about the scale of passing rather than individual performance (pupils having aggregate six in BECE, scoring 400 or more in NPSE).

“I care about my child’s education, but my child’s education is secondary to me. The most important thing I care about is the 2.6 million pupils who are in school. We can’t care about individuals, we care about the system and that is what radical inclusion means. If nobody gets aggregate six, nobody gets aggregate seven, nobody gets aggregate eight either, but we have a 90 percent pass rate why shouldn’t we be happy,” he rhetorically asked.

©Augustine Sankoh

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