By Augustine Sankoh
The National Policy on Radical Inclusion in Schools in the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) has received an award for the Most Impactful Policy of the Year in the 2021 Concord Times Nation Builders Awards Night, which complemented the Concord Times Summit 2021.
On Tuesday 19th October 2021, the team from Concord Times presented the Award to the Basic and Senior Secondary Minister, Deputy Minister, Senior Permanent Secretary, and Chief Education Officer at their New England Ville Office in Freetown.
The Head of the Award Planning Committee Mr. Gabriel Benjamin said the Awards are meant to celebrate, inspire, motivate, and most importantly encourage citizens toward making meaningful impacts in society.
“The award was organised to recognize and honour Individuals and Institutions who have consolidated good governance and democracy, promoted gender equality and children’s right, initiated creative and innovative business ideas, and fostered economic development,” he said.
While presenting the award to the Minister, he commended the ministry for the work they have done in improving education outcomes in the country, noting that he has gone through the policy and he was not surprised to see the Radical Inclusion in Schools becoming the winning policy.
This National Policy on Radical Inclusion in Schools seeks to ensure that schools throughout Sierra Leone are accessible to, and inclusive of, all children – especially those that are typically marginalized or excluded. In particular, the policy focuses on four excluded and marginalized groups: children with disabilities; children from low-income families; children in rural and underserved areas; and girls – especially girls who are currently pregnant and in school or are parent learners.
“The ultimate goal of this policy is to generate a critical mass of highly educated, trained, and skilled Sierra Leoneans with the capacity to fulfill their potential, contribute to the national and global economy, and deliver better leadership and services in the public sector. We are grateful for the opportunity to provide the first-ever policy on radical inclusion in education in Sierra Leone,” according to Dr. David MoininaSengeh Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education.
He said the policy is based on collaborative engagements, and data on inclusion that highlight gaps in educational opportunities and outcomes among learner groups, identifying those most at risk of being left behind and the severity of the barriers they face.
He said the nomination process for the awards was fair, honest, and unbiased, noting that the nomination process was spearheaded by prominent Sierra Leoneans whose credibility and public life are unblemished.