The study he said, recommends employers to place as much value on a teacher’s interpersonal skills as their academic qualifications in order to raise the level of education for disadvantaged students across Sierra Leone.
Furthermore, the study recommends that the Sierra Leone government should recruit more teachers and should also increase teacher education programmes across the country in order to establish a teacher’s interpersonal skills and qualities, and their commitment to meet the learning needs of all children, irrespective of their social, ethnic, and economic background.
The study says that doing so will inevitably make teacher recruitment in Sierra Leone more time consuming and resource intensive; the trade-off is considerable in increased teacher motivation and retention, leading to improved learning outcomes for students and in particular for the most disadvantaged.
Several primary and secondary school teachers that spoke with AYV stated that the most common complaints from teachers are around a lack of funding, resources, and insufficient learning facilities, as well as a heavy workload and a lack of time to invest in supporting children to learn.
They added that teachers across Sierra Leone are calling for a broader conception of teacher quality and student learning beyond what is typically found in policy papers, moving beyond skills that can be easily measured.
They also recommended increased practical training that reflects the real-life scenarios which teachers encounter on a daily basis in the classroom and freedom from the hegemony of standardized tests to allow students to express their learning in more creative ways and to explore their own interests.