Education Minister Emphasizes Tech-Voc & Research as Relevant for Nation-Building

The Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Conrad Sackey, has extended commendations to the Vice Chancellor and Principal of the Milton Margai Technical University (MMTU), Dr. Philip John Kanu, for revitalizing the once-faltering institution.

Highlighting the importance of acknowledging leaders making significant contributions to the country’s development, Mr. Sackey praised Dr. Kanu during a courtesy visit at his New England Ville office in Freetown by representatives from three schools.

Accompanying Dr. Kanu were Principals, Board of Governors’ Chairpersons and students from the Government Technical Secondary School in Congo Cross, Lady Patricia Kabba Memorial Secondary School in Goderich and Benevolent Islamic Secondary School in Makeni.

Emphasizing his passion for technical and vocational education, Minister Sackey stressed its relevance for a developing nation like Sierra Leone, asserting its equivalence with entrepreneurship opportunities.

Addressing pertinent education aspects, the Minister highlighted the significance of research, cautioned against teacher-related monetary demands reported by parents and underscored fundamental learning’s pivotal role in education.

Revealing significant financial contributions to education, he announced funds amounting to $20 million from the World Bank, an additional $13 million for out-of-school children, and an extra $40 million, all aimed at enhancing the country’s education system. Assuring corrective measures, he emphasized the Ministry’s commitment to ensuring no child is excluded from education.

Dr. Kanu, who chaired the event, commended the Minister’s improvements in academia, noting the increase in public examination pass rates. He disclosed his research initiative on the schools’ underperformance in English Language compared to Mathematics. Dr. Kanu emphasized his goal of nurturing students for technical and scientific studies at the Technical University, as well as undertaking tracer studies at MMTU.

Identifying multiple factors affecting teacher performance beyond remuneration, Dr. Kanu invited the Minister to visit the schools. He hailed the Benevolent Islamic Secondary School in Makeni as one of the North’s best and highlighted ongoing infrastructure projects, including the recent launch of a fencing initiative.

School Principals addressed the Minister, with Mrs. Katta from the Government Technical Secondary School discussing the school’s radical inclusion policy and impending subsidies. The Principal of the Benevolent Islamic Secondary School emphasized data analysis for learning processes and challenges, including teacher payments impacting other projects. Mrs. Beatrice Sillah from Lady Patricia Kabba Memorial School praised their academic achievement, seeking support for accommodation and fencing.

The ceremony featured the presentation of gifts to the Minister and concluded with a vote of thanks from the Head Boy of the Government Technical Secondary School.


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