By Foday Moriba Conteh
In order to seek means and ways of furthering the smooth workability and implementation of the Free Quality Education, His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio met with Jamie Cooper, founder and Board Chair of Big Win Philanthropy, with more than 20 years’ experience in bringing private-sector, Government and non-profit leaders together to pursue an innovative policy on economic and social issues.
Talking about the charity on the margins of the Paris Peace Conference in Paris, France, Monday 11 November 2019, the global philanthropist said they focus on three strategic objectives – namely brain development, which includes early childhood learning; education and job creation. She also shared with the President their experience in implementing projects in other countries and their focus on multi-sectoral collaboration for successful project implementation.
“We have followed that education is your passion and we are interested in supporting those who are passionate about young people and children,” Ms Cooper said.
In his response, President Bio said that as a Government they have passion for education and have therefore identified human capital as a catalyst to accelerating national development, adding that it was not about the type of education being offered, it was about education that would be necessary for the 21st century.
“To our minds, we believe that education lays the most solid foundation for sustainable development,” President Bio said and further informed the founder of Big Win Foundation that the Government was planning a national dialogue on education for the future.
Sierra Leone’s Minister-designate for Basic and Secondary Education, Dr David Moinina Sengeh, spoke on the area of inter-ministerial collaboration and stated that the Ministries of Basic and Secondary Education, Agriculture, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Youth Affairs, Health and Sanitation and Higher and Technical Education would collaborate on a singular government proposal for the creation of a comprehensive early childhood education and learning centre for nutrition, health, survival and more.
Big Win partners with visionary leaders in countries undergoing demographic transitions to transform the life opportunities of their burgeoning child and youth populations and, at the same time, bolster future economic growth and national stability. Big Win supports an array of initiatives to build enhanced leadership capacity. This includes the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program, which Ms. Cooper co-conceived, and the Amujae program of the Ellen Johnson Sirleaf Centre.