By Abubakarr Harding
After holding consultations with school authorities and Principals of Government and Government-Assisted schools nationwide the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education has released a price list for the sale of school items for newly admitted pupils in JSS1 and SSS1.
The rationale behind coming up with a price list is to harmonize and regularize the sale of school items including pocket badge, neck tie, uniform, Hijab, Beret and Crest, belt, felt hat and band etc, in order to cater for the ordinary man, who wishes for his children to attend the school of their choice (Radical Inclusion).
Prior to the introduction of the free quality school education programme in 2018, admission to some schools in Sierra Leone was made practically impossible, regardless of candidates meeting the score or aggregate set. In addition to the huge and unpredictable admission fees requested, (thanks for the FQSE initiative, it has been radically removed by Government), the prices for the school colours were irritatingly and discriminatingly expensive for the earning of the ordinary man, hence their children could not attend their first choice schools.
The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary has put regulatory mechanism in place to ensure that the price list is fully adhered to. School authorities are therefore encouraged to do the following for every admission committee meetings; to display a copy of the price list on their respective school notice boards for parents to read, invite at least one MBSSE official in their district to their admission committee meetings and give some leverage to parents to purchase some of the items outside the school should they request. Above all, the price lists of school items should not be a prerequisite for admission, especially when the candidates are eligible.
Parents and guardians are however encouraged to report any abnormalities during the admission process by a way of calling the 8060 toll-free line.