District director drums up support for quality education
Port Loko, Jan.18, (SLENA) – The urge for stakeholders to team up in enhancing quality education was one of the themes of the New Year Message of the Director of Education, Briama Thaimu Koroma to the people of Port Loko District.
He has just had an exclusive interview with the Sierra Leone News Agency on the Achievements so far made, the Challenges his Administration is faced with, and the potential way forward as the Nation progresses to 2014.
He is charged with the responsibility of supervising and coordinating every educational activity in the district and therefore deemed it his desire to ensure that education policies are implemented according to the Act. But it is also his genuine wish to see that the teaching and learning process is done in a conducive and child friendly environment.
He said this was more why reason why he has been sensitizing the general public on issues of education and development in order to raise awareness on the roles and responsibilities of stakeholders in the education sector.
In an exclusive interview with the Sierra Leone News Agency, Briama Thaimu Koroma said he has partitioned the Port Loko district into three Inspectorate Zones that embrace all the eleven chiefdoms in the district with Lungi in the Kaffu Bullom, Masiaka in Koya and Port Loko in Maforki as Education Head Office towns.
This method, he stressed, has immensely improved the partnership and coordination with implementing partners in education as they now meet at regular intervals to discuss issues, prepare Activity Work Plans and even present timely reports.
The Port Loko District Director of Education said lawlessness has been greatly reduced and discipline installed in schools so much so that there is now an improved pattern of behaviour in such a way that both pupils and teachers now report on the first day schools reopen, adding that riotous conduct is now a thing of the past, citing the just concluded football and volley ball Inter School Competition for both Primary and Secondary Schools in Lungi, Masiaka and Port Loko which ended without any form of fracas.
He said his Directorate has now set up modalities for teachers to forward their documents to the District Office in place of the age-old pattern when documents were individually taken to Freetown for Processing, adding that he has also tried to centralise the collection and return of Teachers’ Salary Vouchers at the District Office.
He spoke of the provision of motor bikes, computers and other basic logistics to his staff in a bid to enhance efficiency, and the bold step to construct a District Education Office in Port Loko town. He however lamented the numerous challenges his administration is facing. These, he said, include inadequate staff and late disbursement of funds.
He said the district has a total of 688 schools and it is extremely difficult for only eleven supervisors to carry out an effective day-to-day monitoring and supervision on all of them, mentioning similar constraints in the issue of late payment of school fee subsidies as well as the delay in the provision of the Girl Child support, adding that the illegal establishment of schools remains another key concern in the district.
On the issue of pupils’ performance at national examinations, the Director of Education said a total of 7,344 candidates including 3,223 girls, sat to the NPSE in 2013 and that 5,373 pupils passed, which is a 73 percent success, adding that 2,410 of that figure were girls while the remaining 2,963 were boys.
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