The Government of Sierra Leone has invested significantly in classroom constructions and renovations. This according the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Dr. David Moinina Sengeh, is to complement the 34% increase in total enrollment due to the Free Quality School Education (FQSE) policy.
He said this is in addition to regular school subsidies and performance-based financing, which also has components for renovation embedded.
In 2022/2023, Dr Sengeh went on, a total of USD2,124,000 (Leones Equivalent – Le29,693,520,000 (Old Leones) was disbursed directly to 538 primary schools nationwide for renovations.
He said to support the process, the MBSSE Annual School Census is used for the selection of schools, followed by physical needs assessments by our team, adding that each school then receives either $2,000 or $5,000 into their accounts managed by their school management committees (SMCs).
He said the SMCs, including local community members, are trained by our teams on project and other fiduciary management skills.
“Our team provides monitoring through clerks of works recruited and embedded with the district education offices. These clerks also work with the Local Council Engineers. Our School Quality Assurance Officers support monitoring, and as of today, about 70% of the schools in phase 1 have completed their renovations. Several hundreds are meant to benefit this 2023” Dr. David Moinina Sengeh stated.
He added that since the start of FQSE and by the end of June 2023, over 1,000 new classrooms would have been constructed and over 2,000 renovated by the government.
This physical hard transformation the minister said is in addition to soft transformation (curriculum and policies) and socio-emotional and welfare transformation (better working conditions) that is happening all at the same time in the sector
He said: “We won’t stop, and we will maintain this for another 10 or 20 years for our country to rip the dividends”.