Standing in the gap for school authorities!
The Minister of Basic and Higher Education has warned that strong action would be taken against head teachers and principals in default of submitting Continuous Assessment in respective of their schools. Specifically, Dr Moinina David Sengeh said as a last resort, defaulters would be relieved of their duty.
We see this as not being the best way to resolve the problem, but rather lead to more problems that have the propensity to undermine the Government’s flagship program of Free Quality Education by reversing whatever gains would have been made. Sacking hundreds of teachers will also have adverse and far-reaching ripple effects economically and socially for hundreds of thousands of Sierra Leoneans.
Our argument is that in as much we commend the introduction of technology in the work of schools in line with modern trends, there needs to be a component of training and provisioning of required resources such uninterrupted and available electricity supply, computers and internet connectivity for maximum and timely output by teachers.
It is a fact that modern technology including the very basics of uploading information or data is still a novelty to a majority of Sierra Leoneans including the very literate population across all walks of life – journalists, lawyers, medical doctors and of course University Lecturers. If journalists, lawyers or medical doctors and University Lecturers who definitely make money with more opportunities than School Teachers have lapses in the use of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs), sacking teachers for inability to deliver continuous assessment online might be too drastic a measure and will cause more problems than proffer solutions.
We are of the strong view that building the capacity of teachers in basic ICT skills by conducting district workshops on simple computer skills will salvage the situation now and in the long run. It goes without saying that the whole gamut of basic and higher education if not tertiary education, is still fraught with perennial problems ranging from payroll and proper infrastructure to accessibility, naming just few, for which we commend the current wave of policy review geared towards addressing these and many more odds in the education system.
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