The Minister of Education Science and Technology (MEST), Dr. Minkailu Bah has called on all and sundry to be patient as the government will soon approve teachers and schools in Kenema district.
He made this statement while addressing stakeholders at the Kenema District Council hall during his regional tours on the president’s recovery proprieties for the nation on Thursday 25th February 2016.
He said the Ministry will do everything possible in ensuring that the correct thing is done in the education sector.
The minister cautioned teachers who are teaching in the rural areas and whose names are not on vouchers to open an account in the city if not they will not be paid their salaries when the payment of teachers salaries into individual account start very soon.
He said the payment of teachers through banks is in it pilot stage, dealing with schools in the district headquarter towns across the country and currently the ministry is on the documentation process.
“As a ministry, we are ready to approve schools and teachers that are in my system but we have our set criteria that must be met”, he said.
“Every teacher that is approved, his or her certificate must have passed through my table for verification to ascertain its authenticity, and I will comment on every certificate that I did not approve, be patient with us to do the correct thing for all to benefit”, he emphasised.
He cautioned school authorities to ensure that teachers teach subjects that they are qualified for and are confortable with, adding that the syllabus we are now using, such as physics is heavier than the one we used during the O’Level days and we will continue making effort in putting the right person in the right place to teach.
He said some paramount chiefs are calling for approval of schools in their chiefdoms, he said the ministry will be happy to approve schools but must be careful in doing so. Some areas that have a school is not a school, having the building alone is not a school but other things must be put in place before it is being referred to as school.
He said in the area of WASH facility, cheques are ready for the contractors and SALWACO is involved to advise whether hand pump or bore hole water facility to be provided and for what school.
In terms of the school feeding programme, the minister said all schools within every chiefdom must benefit from the feeding under the national school feeding program as proposed by President Ernest Bai Koroma.
The exercise will help prevent children moving from one school to another, or transferring from one school to another.
He said the issue of schools getting the feeding while others do not will not be an issue this time round as it used to be in the past, as the president is targeting every child in every school across the country.
He disclosed that paramount chiefs are now members of the five man committee set to monitor school activities in all chiefdoms across the country.
The feeding programme that was scheduled to have started in January did not materialize as schedule but will start very soon as government is working on it, adding that other partners out of the country are expected to join the program very soon.