Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomeLocal NewsTimely Disbursement of Subvention to us this year is Unprecedented

Timely Disbursement of Subvention to us this year is Unprecedented

Special needs schools have commended the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) for the timely disbursement of subvention for the first time, and this has resulted in the early reopening of special needs schools nationwide.

“We are very happy that the subvention had been paid including backlog. This enabled us to put things in place for the smooth running of the new academic year. In the past, we don’t normally receive our subvention early so that usually led to the late reopening of our school,” according to Mr. Sallieu Turay Headteacher of the Milton Margai School for the Blind.

He said they have already received their third and fourth quarter subventions for 2021 which are pivotal to proper planning of the academic year, adding that the promise was made by the Minister and he has worked towards that.

“We thanked the MBSSE particularly the Minister Dr. David Moinina Sengeh for not only introducing the Radical Inclusion Policy but also implementing what the policy dictates. The Minister has manifested that he has a passion for all children, including children with special needs,” according to Madam Winifred Coullier Headteacher National School for the Deaf.

There are seen disabilities (physical disabilities, visually Impaired, etc) and unseen disabilities (hearing Impaired, autism, etc). In Sierra Leone, they all get placed under what they call Special Needs. About 16 special needs institutions receive government subvention. Historically, these institutions haven’t always been prioritised needless to say elevated to a status of critical importance.

“These 16 special needs institutions have received their subvention in time and in advance. We seek to make this normal next year. No more skipped subsidies as done before. Extra-budgetary support; special needs institutions across the country get extra support from us including feeding; recorders; radio sets, etc. This year, we are buying 5 buses for special needs schools. This is what President Bio wants us to do,” Dr. David Moinina Sengeh said.

He said as a government, they will continue to support them with school feeding; transportation, and other learning materials, noting that as a Private Sector, they should provide things like computers and other tools like sewing machines so they can teach skills to their children.

“As parents and the community- I urge you to pause and try to see these inequalities and see how we can harness their skills to make them productive members of society especially the deaf…I was saddened to learn that many of their students end at PZ pushing carts and the girls pregnant and in the streets. We as a society can be and do better,” he said.

The National Policy on Radical Inclusion in Schools explicitly lists learners with special needs as a focus group.

Augustine Sankoh
Strategic Communications Analyst



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