Conference of Principals discuss Agenda for Prosperity
Members of the National Conference of Principals of Secondary Schools (NCPSS ) from across the country were assembled at the new University of Makeni Auditorium to discuss the theme: “the role of education in the Agenda for Prosperity’. The conference held from 30th March to 4th April was declared open by the Minister of Education Science and Technology, Dr. Minkailu Bah. (Photo: Sheku Raymond Sesay, NCPSS National President)
Professor David Koroma is the Executive Chairman of the Tertiary Education Commission, while chairing the opening session, revealed that the importance of education cannot be overemphasized as it serves as the master key to the success of an individual and development of the nation. He described Principals and Teachers as the molders of skills and knowledge on the future generation. “As Principals you are professionals that contribute to nation building. Your values should be respected at all times because after God it is teachers that make up a man,” says Prof. Koroma, noting that Principals’ resolutions must effect a positive change in their schools, and that they must see themselves as key actors in the Agenda for Prosperity.
Chairman of Bombali District Council, John Shangai Koroma described education as the hub for national development, noting that it is one of the strongest pillars in the Agenda for Prosperity that builds human resources. Mr. Koroma urged Principals to play their own role by ensuring that they wipe out corrupt activities like leakages, which hampers education. He pledged his council’s support to build the education sector.
NCPSS National President, Sheku Raymond Sesay said the theme selected will guide them proffer solutions to most of the challenges face in the education sector. He cited the challenge of admission in secondary schools, which some of their colleagues flout. This, he said causes hindrance to the development of education.
He called on the Ministry to meet its obligation on the girls’ education project. “We are calling on the Ministry to provide more classrooms in some schools so as to address the problem of double shift,” Mr. Sesay said, pointing out that they will not condone any malpractice in the education sector, especially in secondary schools.
Reverend Father Joseph Turay is the Vice Chancellor of the University of Makeni. He informed the gathering that the conference came at a time when Sierra Leone has positioned itself to become a middle income country by 2035, and at a time when the current Education Sector Plan is coming to an end. “We need to focus on education to have a successful Agenda for Prosperity,” he said, adding that public-private partnership can be one of the strategies that should be applied. “We need to improve on education accessibility and make it more competitive and relevant.”
Reverend Father Turay admonished Principals to work hard in addressing the challenges affecting education and plan well for its improvement. He stressed on quality, equity and accessibility as key instruments that will ensure that education plays a key role in national development.
Education Minister, Dr. Minkailu Bah said the Agenda for Prosperity focuses on ensuring quality and accessible education. He revealed that very soon a new Education Sector Plan for 2014 to 2018, whose content is similar to that of the Agenda for Prosperity will be launched. Sierra Leone, he said requires a quality education wherein no one is left behind. “I am determined to ensure that educational services go with quality. Please join the Ministry and WAEC to get rid of all odds that are destroying the sector,” he said. He disclosed that secondary school fees for next academic year include Le35, 000 per term for JSS and Le40, 000 per term for SSS.
Other speakers include Prof. Ekundayo Thompson, Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Sierra Leone, and the National Secretary General, BBC Forhah gave the welcome address.
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