Just recently, Heads of private schools went to the Ministry of Basic & Secondary School at New England Ville, to congratulate the Minister and the Government for approving around 262 private schools within the country.
The heads of the various private schools, highlighted that the past Government failed to approve their schools and showered praises on President Julius Maada Bio for facilitating their approval. With this new development the approved schools are now eligible to take the West Africa Senior School Certificate Exams in their various schools instead of sending their candidates to take the exams under other schools.
The Minister of Basic & Secondary School Education (MBSSE), Alpha Timbo, during his meeting with the Heads and pupils stated that the Sierra Leone People’s Party’s, 2018 Manifesto pointed out that children must have access to quality education.
“When I took over as Minister, I met stiff policies against the approval of private schools. But already Government is trying to provide free education to every child and already, we have private institutions that have made lots of sacrifices and investments. So I thought it will be better for the people not to only rely on Government facilities but to also have options to either enrol to Government schools or private ones which will give equal access to them”, the Minister said.
He continued by saying that a country may have various resources underscoring that it is through learning that will produce resourceful personalities who will properly utilize those resources for development and that teachers should consider themselves as noble people in society in trying to transform lives.
Deputy Minister of MBSSE, Madam Emilia Grogra, expressed gratitude disclosing that she is also a Proprietress of a private school for Government approval. She called on heads of schools to live up-to the expectations of the Ministry. and also admonished colleagues to harmonize their fees in order to enable parents to pay for their kids.
Abdul Kareem Sow, Head of the Public Private Partnership Unit at the Ministry pointed out that there are over one thousand private schools in the country. He maintained that those that were approved, were the ones that have applied and met the Government benchmark and laid down standards in order to ensure that they are capable of providing not only access but also quality education. He furthered that from time to time, he and his team will be inspecting private schools to ascertain the facilities they have and if they found out that they have not been living up-to expectations, their schools will be closed down or merge them with others.
The Deputy Director and Public Relations Officer of the Ministry, Brima Michael Turay, in his statement, stressed that Government has again demonstrated its commitment to education by approving deprived private schools which will now enable them to benefit from Government tuitions for public exams. He called on those that are yet to be approved to apply at the Ministry for approval so that they will be part of the Government data.