Sierra Leone’s Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Dr. Minkailu Bah, has on Thursday 6th August, launched the Revitalizing Education Development in Sierra Leone at the Bank complex in Freetown.
The project was designed by the Ministry of Education, with technical assistance from the World Bank and inputs from the Local Education Group comprising of donor partners and NGOs.
The purpose of this project is to support the implementation of specific areas and monitoring of the Education Sector Plan( ESP) for which donors were consulted both during its development as well as the REDiSL operations, with the aim of ensuring feasibility and coordination of activities.
The multi-million-dollar project would among other things bring in additional resources that would remove ‘informal’ charges in primary schools, give additional support to local councils with low levels of educational facilities ( including the building of more structures), the provision of one million eight hundred books to classes 1-3 pupils in government-owned and government assisted schools nationwide, and the imminent commencement of a school-feeding programs countrywide also.
Education Minister Dr. Minkailu Bah, in his statement before officially launching the project, said the EBOLA virus has killed thousands of people in the country- teachers, students, and pupils inclusive. He was however proud to state that since the reopening of schools, not a single case of EBOLA has been reported in any school countrywide, and for that he called for celebration and for a look into the future.
“Yes the EBOLA virus disease kill thousands of fellow countrymen- relatives, friends,student, teachers, nurse, doctors, work-mate,etc, but we are not crushed! We are aware that the battle against EBOLA is not yet over, but we can no longer be intimated. We have confidence in our government and its leadership, and we believe that working with friends, we can defeat this invisible enemy and rise again to even greater heights than before EBOLA,” he said to applause from the audience.
The ceremony was chaired by the Minister of Information and Communications, Hon. Alhaji Alpha Bakarr Sahid Kanu, who underscored the significance of the project and as well spoke of the proactive measures put in place by government, through the Ministry of Education, in the reopening of schools.
In her presentation, National Coordinator for the school Reopening Committee, Dr. Christiana Thorpe,threw light on some of the challenges and difficulties faced in the planning of reopening of school. She acknowledged the support received from donor partners, explaining how the plan on the reopening of schools was made easier with the level of support received from the Ministry, its partners, district councils, paramount Chiefs to name a few.
Other speakers included representatives from the World Bank, DFID UNICEF and the Global Partnership for Education.