TURNING THE SOD; MINISTRY OF BASIC AND SENIOR SECONDARY SCHOOL EDUCATION LAUNCH THE ACCESS TO QUALITY EDUCAITON FOR CHILDREN IN TONKOLILI DISTRICT
Exactly 5 months from the inception of the 348,000 (𝐆B𝐏) donor project, funded by UK couple, Grace and John Perkins, the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary School Education (MBSSE) has on the 16th February 2022 turned the sod on the foundation of the 6 classroom building and launched the Access to Quality Education Project in Rosengbeh Community, Tonkolili District.
In past years, the Rosengbeh Community reported an increasing number of teenage pregnancy and dropout due to the transitioning of children especially girls to other communities in search of secondary schools. However, with this project, parents as well as stakeholders in the community are hopeful that the future of these children will be secured. ActionAid Sierra Leone has built 13 schools in 14 communities within a period of 10 years of working In Tonkolili District. These schools have contributed immensely to the retention of Girls and reduction of teenage pregnancy.
Foday Bassie Swaray Executive Director of ActionAid Sierra Leone commented that that this project compliments the Free Quality School Education (FQSE) flagship programme by the Government of Sierra Leone, laying more emphasis on the sustainability of the project after AASL would have left the community. He implores the community to take ownership of this project as it will only be sustainable with the commitment from the community stakeholders such as the School Board, Local Authorities, the Catholic Mission and the Women to monitor the implementation.
“𝗔𝘀 𝗮𝗻 𝗼𝗿𝗴𝗮𝗻𝗶𝘀𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘄𝗵𝗼 𝗽𝗹𝗮𝗰𝗲𝘀 𝗽𝗿𝗶𝗼𝗿𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗼𝗻 𝗲𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻, 𝘄𝗲 𝗵𝗼𝗽𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝘂𝘀𝗲 𝗲𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝗮𝘀 𝗮 𝘁𝗼𝗼𝗹 𝗼𝗳 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝘂𝗿𝗻 𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗴𝗶𝗰𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗽𝗼𝘀𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗦𝘁 𝗣𝗲𝘁𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗦𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝗹 𝗥𝗼𝘀𝗲𝗻𝗴𝗯𝗲𝗵 𝗮𝘀 𝗮 𝗰𝗲𝗻𝘁𝗿𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗲𝘅𝗰𝗲𝗹𝗹𝗲𝗻𝗰𝗲 𝘄𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲 𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿 𝘀𝗰𝗵𝗼𝗼𝗹𝘀 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺” emphasized Foday Bassie Swaray.
Deputy Minister 1 of the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Madam @Emily Kadiatu Gogra, represented the Minister of Education as the keynote speaker. On behalf of the MoBSSE, she extended the expression of goodwill from the Honorable Minister @David Sengeh to the donors Grace and John Perkins and to ActionAid Sierra Leone for its tremendous work in education, women’s empowerment, and contribution to the betterment Sierra Leone. The Ministry pledged its unreserved support to the work of ActionAid within Tonkolili District and beyond. She applauded AASL for its endless support in improving the lives of Women which in turn has given them a voice in their various communities.
Madam Gogra promised that the Ministry will work collaboratively with all relevant stakeholders to create structures that will monitor the successful implementation of the education project which in the nearest future will serve as a centre for the National Primary school exams and contribute to creating an enabling space for the transition of children from primary to secondary school without having to relocate to the major towns in search of secondary schools. Madam Gogra admonished the Teachers to utilize their smart phones in enriching their curriculums and becoming more relevant in the community and to the children.
Concluding, Madam Gogra firmly stated that “𝗘𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝗻𝗼𝘁 𝗯𝗲 𝗽𝗼𝗹𝗶𝘁𝗶𝗰𝗶𝘇𝗲𝗱 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗳𝗼𝗿𝗲 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗯𝗲 𝗺𝗮𝗱𝗲 𝗮𝗰𝗰𝗲𝘀𝘀𝗶𝗯𝗹𝗲, 𝗼𝗳 𝗾𝘂𝗮𝗹𝗶𝘁𝘆 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝗮𝗳𝗲 𝗳𝗼𝗿 𝗮𝗹𝗹 𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗻 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵𝗶𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝘂𝗻𝗶𝘁𝘆. 𝗣𝗮𝗿𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗲𝘀𝗽𝗲𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘆 𝗺𝗼𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝘀 𝗺𝘂𝘀𝘁 𝗲𝗻𝘀𝘂𝗿𝗲 𝘁𝗼 𝗴𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗰𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗻 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗳𝗿𝗲𝗲𝗱𝗼𝗺 𝘁𝗼 𝗹𝗲𝗮𝗿𝗻 𝘄𝗵𝗶𝗰𝗵 𝘄𝗶𝗹𝗹 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗲 𝗮𝘀 𝗮𝗻 𝗲𝘀𝗰𝗮𝗽𝗲 𝗿𝗼𝘂𝘁𝗲 𝗳𝗿𝗼𝗺 𝗽𝗼𝘃𝗲𝗿𝘁𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗲𝗿𝗲𝗯𝘆 𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝗻𝗮𝗿𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗶𝘃𝗲 𝗼𝗳 𝗧𝗼𝗻𝗸𝗼𝗹𝗶𝗹𝗶 𝗗𝗶𝘀𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗰𝘁. 𝗖𝗵𝗶𝗹𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗻 𝗺𝗮𝗸𝗲 𝗮 𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗺𝗶𝘁𝗺𝗲𝗻𝘁 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲 𝗲𝗱𝘂𝗰𝗮𝘁𝗲𝗱” she ended.
Within the three years of implementing this project, starting from 2021 – 2024, access to quality education for 1,643 children in five communities in Tonkolili will be improved, construction of new facilities for a secondary school in the community of Rosengbeh which has already began will ensure that once children finish their primary education, they will be able to continue their secondary schooling in a safe welcoming environment with access to clean water and toilet facilities.
Teachers will be trained and support to ensure the engagement and oversight of the local education authorities. Lastly, Parents, especially women in these communities will be empowered to diversify their sources of effectively enabling them to provide for and take care of their children throughout their schooling.
Present at this auspicious event was the Chiefdom Speaker, Deputy Director Teaching Service Commission Tonkolili District, Deputy Director MBSSE Tonkolili District, Rev. Fr. Papa Bangura Roman Catholic Mission Magburaka, Tonkolili District Council, representative from ActionAid Board who all applauded the remarkable efforts of ActionAid as they described as a proactive organisation who truly “Acts on Aid” and on time.