Overcrowding – Students Worry Ahead of September
As the Government of President Julius Maada Bio is preparing to implement the free education project for pupils in primary and secondary schools across the country by the next academic year which will fall on September 2018, thousands of students have expressed fear over the increasing number of young Sierra Leoneans desiring to go back to school in the limited dilapidated space classrooms that could no longer accommodate the growing number of school Boys and Girls.
Speaking to this medium in an exclusive interview, the worrying students are calling on the Government and the Minister of Education Science and Technology (MEST) for Primary and Secondary Level, Alhaji Alpha Timbo to create more classrooms before September this year.
“If President Bio is to succeed in his drive to offer free and affordable education, his government should first of all try very hard to address the issue of overcrowding in most government assisted schools and even some private schools as well adding that if the ministry of education does not put more pressure on some of the concern stakeholders, their move to achieve free education for all will not yield dividend.
They spoke vehemently in the area of extra charges levied on them by teachers for self-aggrandizement.
The students in tears emphasized on how teachers are exploiting parents during admission period.
However, they appealed to MEST to continue engagement with all educational stakeholders to minimize the issue of extra charging in schools.
They commended the past administration of former President Ernest Bai Koroma for elevating the standards of education from nowhere to a better status in the sub-region with rapid construction of more schools and colleges across the country.
Furthermore, students expressed happiness for the good intention of President Bio to not only bring free education but to also proposed the one shift system since we have shifted from SS4 system of education back to the 6334 system of education.
They called on President Bio under the New Direction to increase the condition of service of teachers for them to deliver effective and efficient teaching service.
By Alhassan Bangura
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