Qualifying Quality Education
Quality Education has been the much trumpeted slogan of our progressively retrogressing educational system since the days of the Ahmed Tejan Kabbah-led Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) government. However, the slogan has never been qualified for us to know the type of quality education we are trumpeting, whether it is the poor quality education or the good quality education.
I am bringing up this point because, I believe, the English word, “quality”, is elastic; a quality can be either good or bad, better or worse, best or worst, so, what kind of quality has our educational system? Moreover, Quality Education slogan has been attended by mass failure in the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) and the West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) for the past consecutive years, making it necessary for our educational slogan to be re-branded as Poor Quality Education.
Also, what can be rightly called, Quantity Education has been negatively impacting the quality of our education. While striving to meet the Education for All, EFA-Millennium Development Goal, MDG, education authorities in Sierra Leone have been providing educational access to every citizen who is willing to be educated, consequently, there has been an overcrowding of most schools and colleges and an obvious congestion of their classrooms. The problem of overcrowding is being compounded by the sad fact that most of the schools and colleges lack adequate material, financial and human resources to cope with the mass influx of pupils and students, a situation that has been severely undermining proper education.
Most of our schools and colleges have been suffering from an acute shortage of trained and qualified personnel and inadequate accommodation for the ever growing number of pupils and students. Making matters worse, appalling conditions of service have compelled many excellent teachers and lecturers to quit the classroom for greener pastures, a situation that is largely responsible for the shortage of trained and qualified personnel in most schools and colleges.
Therefore, the foregoing lapses makes our Quality Education slogan liable to qualification and re-branding, otherwise, the slogan will continue to mock our deteriorating educational system.
By Joseph Milton Lebbie
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