APC Makes Education Privileged … SLPP MP Blasts
Hon. Robin Falley, Sierra Leone People’s Party Parliamentarian representing Constituency 07, Kailahun District last week came out strongly on the government of President Ernest Bai Koroma, lambasting it as a failure in its education policy. Hon. Falley who was contributing to the debate in the Well of Parliament following President Koroma’s National Maiden Speech to the House was reacting to what he called the new expensive form of education.
Commenting on Education, the vocal opposition MP said it “should be a priority to the government,” and went on further to highlight that “education has grown so expensive that it cannot be afforded by children of low income earners.”
The Parliamentarian also criticized the cost of an application form for University admission and revealed that it is sold for a whopping two hundred thousand Leones.
Hon. Falley questioned the effectiveness of the present government in adopting radical reforms in the educational system of the country, which he described as timely.
“This will be very timely as the present system of education is becoming a serious threat to the development of the country which is one of the poorest in the continent,” he asserted and went on to state: “Education is an appreciation of knowledge, and the progress and development of a country lies squarely on the level of education attained by its citizens.”
In his statement, Honorable Falley outlined some of the issues which he said contributed to the increasing number of drop-outs in the country and the low standard of education in the country. These, he said, include high school charges and university fees, huge cost of application forms to universities, sexual harassment for the girl-child, the lack of equipped laboratories and libraries and poor wages for teachers.
“These are the issues destroying education in the country and has resulted in qualified teachers seeking for other forms of employment,” he said. The MP urged President Koroma and his government to act swiftly so that the situation doest not get out of hands.
According to the politician, if education is to improve in Sierra Leone, certain principles are to be implemented which he said include reduction of extra-curricular activities in schools, improving the standards of school laboratories and libraries, finding means of cutting off the double shift school system, create more educational institutions, reduce school charges and introduce attractive salaries schemes for teachers.
He also insisted that the cost of application forms to Universities and Colleges should be reduced and also mentioned that forms should be available on the internet to save parents and their children from unnecessary expenditures and scholarships be provided to subsidize education. He also called for equal right in employment and said job should be given on merit bases and on special interest including partisan or on a Regional bases.
There was however praise for the APC administration on the issue of the government’s home finance policy by Hon. Farley when he commended the president for his intention in the improvement of the housing sector in the country.
“The introduction of home financing montage scheme would be creating quality and affordable housing for the people not only in Freetown but the resident of the rural areas as well,” he said.
The MP went on to inform the House that in Sierra Leone; most of the people cannot afford basic accommodation for themselves and their families, which he said has contributed greatly to the high rate of rural urban migration.
“I whole heartedly welcome a home finance mortgage scheme in the country and I am also calling that housing be made available based on merit.”
Hon. Farley called on his colleagues to seek the interest of the country and set aside politics, and said there should be national reconciliation with all efforts for development, which he named as “a long painful process which needs a very strong individual and political will.”
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