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Dangers of Delaying Subsidies in Sierra Leone

Dangers of Delaying Subsidies in Sierra Leone

Primary education is the bedrock on which secondary and tertiary education rests.  Where primary education is weak, secondary and tertiary education will be weak and bound to collapse.  Therefore, the importance of primary education goes without saying.  When the foundation of a building is weak, that building is bound to collapse. Similarly, when the foundation of an educational system is weak, the entire educational system is doomed.

Over the years, primary school education in Sierra Leone has not been treated with the seriousness it deserves.  Since the introduction of payment of school fees subsidies to primary schools, primary education has been retrogressing progressively as the primary schools have been starving due to the irregular payment of woefully insufficient subsidies.  The ugly situation has been rendering head teachers incapable of effectively running the primary schools, consequently, primary education has been adversely affected and the adverse effect has spilled over and disturbed secondary and tertiary education.

Today, Sierra Leone is suffering severely from a dramatic fall in the standard of education with some university graduates incapable of constructing correct simple sentences.  For the past years, there has been mass failure in public exams like the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE), and the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASCE).

It is my strongest opinion that the root cause of the mass failure that characterizes the BECE and WASCE exams is the poor quality of primary education promoted by the irregular payment of school fee subsidies which inhibits effective learning in the primary schools.  Pupils go to secondary schools without acquiring the requisite foundation to help them sail easily through secondary, and subsequently, tertiary education.

Therefore, I am humbly recommending that government treats primary education with the seriousness it deserves by paying fees subsidies promptly and by giving the schools all the necessary logistics to enhance effective learning, otherwise, our much trumpeted quality education will continue to be an unachievable dream.

By Joseph Milton Lebbie

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