NPSA Launches 2023 State of Education Report

By Millicent Senava Mannah

The National Partnership for Social Accountability (NPSA) Consortium, with funds from the EU Delegation, has launched the 2023 State of Education in Sierra Leone Report, on Friday 1st March, 2024. This report contains Citizens’ feedback on the state of education at the community and national levels as well as identifying key factors influencing education outcomes in primary, junior, and senior secondary schools throughout Sierra Leone. The event was held at the Ministry of Basic Education Conference Room on New England Ville in Freetown.

It must be noted that the 2023 State of Education report was produced by the National Partnership for Social Accountability (NPSA), a network of 45 local civil society organizations, as an embodiment of citizens’ feedback on the investments by the Government of Sierra Leone (GoSL), households and development partners are making to improve basic and senior secondary school education in Sierra Leone.

According to the Report, a mixed-method approach was employed by the NPSA, combining quantitative and qualitative research methods. The research included document reviews, in-depth interviews with key stakeholders, and surveys conducted among households and school staff. Random sampling identified 2,400 households and 400 schools across the country, providing robust data.

The Minister of Basic Education, Conrad Sacky, expressed delight in presenting the State of Education (SOE) 2023 Report saying it is a reflection of the work they are doing as a Ministry in the country. He assured all that they will ensure that the areas that need improvement as mentioned in the report will be addressed.

He commended the Consortium for putting time and efforts in conducting the research that helped them to put the report together.

“As a Government we believe that amplifying citizens’ voices on these issues and supporting the capacity of Government to respond effectively to their priorities will promote greater accountability and responsiveness in Education services,” the Minister stated.

Andrew Lavalie, the Executive Director of the Institute of Governance Reform (IGR), an organization that is also part of the aforementioned consortium, intimated that the 2023 Report provides an evaluation of the strides Sierra Leone is making in key areas and as well  identifies challenges and opportunities for improvement.

He maintained that it is useful to emphasize that some of the areas covered such as WASH and school infrastructure are largely donor funded activities implemented by NGOs and that this assessment therefore presents a holistic picture of the work of MBSSE and its partner NGOs.

Andrew Lavalie disclosed that through a random sampling conducted by NPSA 2,400 households and 400 schools across the country provided robust data reflecting citizens’ constructive feedback on a range of educational issues  including: financial management in schools, school infrastructure, WASH, satisfaction with teaching services, availability of school supplies, and citizens’ views on the recently introduced Radical Inclusion Policy.  He maintained that according to the findings of the report, nationally 75% of parents are aware of School Management Committees (SMC) or Board of Governors in their communities. The IGR Boss furthered that, 93% of interviewed Head Teachers and SMC members reported delay in subsidy transfers.

According to him, the findings show that there is a unanimous demand for training in school improvement planning and cash management, emphasizing its critical importance.

The European Union Ambassador Sierra Leone, Manuel Muller commended the Consortium for their efforts geared towards boosting human capital development through an Education Sector Plan and the new Radical Inclusion Policy.

He continued that education is crucial for the future of any country saying such is why the EU is supporting the efforts of partner countries including Sierra Leone in the sector.

“Investing in education and skills development, in particular for children, women and youth is amongst the five priorities of the European Union’s strategy for Africa. Education contributes to connectivity and helps build up the global Gateway,” he stated highlighting the important inputs that Civil Society Organizations can make.

Climaxing the event was the official launch of the Report by the Minister of Basic Education which was followed by a Question & Answer session.


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