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Parents Blast Shambolic Free Education in Sierra Leone

Parents Blast Shambolic Free Education in Sierra Leone

There has been serious controversy among parents and guardians that, they are currently spending more than before to provide school materials for their children because according to them, the free quality education school materials which include two books and one pen supplied to each of the few lucky pupils are not enough to go through the school year. (Photo: President Julius Maada Bio)

Information revealed that, Edmond Abu and a number of civil society players were quiet currently in Bombali to hold meeting with parents and school authorities over the issue of the core textbooks. This follows the information that parents have refused to sign for these books and that they are stacked at the stores of various schools within the District.

A similar situation has also been reported here in Freetown, where parents have either refused to sign for these books for fear that their kids, especially in the Junior Secondary School, would not be competent enough to take care of these books and hence the will be faced with the situation of having to pay for them at the end of the school year.

According to parents, school authorities in most Government schools are still in the habit of forcing them secretly to pay admission fees as in the past when education was never declared free adding that, the poor state of the country’s economy is forcing business people to double up prices of learning materials.

The poor fathers and mothers in their sad moods disclosed that no change has taken place across all schools in the country, citing the poor sitting accommodation, lack of modern school structures, issue of unapproved schools teachers with no Government pin-codes, late payment of salaries of teachers among other pertinent concerns.

While some teachers also expressed frustration that the Government has done well to prioritized education as flagship project but they as the foot soldiers for the successful implementation of the project are still working under degrading condition of services adding that they would have staged so many strike actions as done by doctors but they expressed believe that as a responsible union, negotiation is best solution to their problems.

Parents are therefore calling on President Julius Maada Bio through the Minister of Basic Education, Alpha Timbo to institute a monitoring group that would mount a robust monitoring exercise during admission period to discover that indeed, parents are coarse by school authorities to pay admission fees for their children as in the past.

By Abdulai Mento Kamara

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