To coincide with the reopening of schools this week, we have decided to dedicate this special issue of Politico
to the issue of basic education.
If no one appreciates the significance of this school year, we do.
For the first time in peace time Sierra Leone, the country will not send candidates to sit to the school-leaving WASSCE examinations organised by the West African Examinations Council. This is in adherence to a recommendation of the Professor Gbamanja Commission of enquiry aimed at improving the poor standards in our school system.
The argument as to whether an additional one year to senior secondary is a panacea to the appalling school standards has only just begun. Or should we look to address other issues the more.
However, we are left with the impression that the issue of education, especially basic education, is not being treated with any seriousness. Under the current dispensation, education occupies FIFTH place. This at a time when the government is talking about its AGENDA FOR PROSPERITY.
If that agenda is anything to be considered, then the government does not need to be told that the education should be at its heart to build the human capital needed to fuel that journey.
Singapore and Malaysia got to where they are today because when they set off education was their main priority.
The issue of dealing with education is not lies or spins or confusion buried in cooked-up figures. It is an issue too serious to lie about. Let government officials talking about education in these election moments be honest to themselves and the country they are under oath to govern and speak truthfully and conscientiously.
What saddens us at Politico the most is the fact that none of the three main political parties seem serious about this. We asked the Secretaries-General of the All People’s Congress, Sierra Leone People’s Party and the People’s Movement for Democratic Change to provide us with their parties’ policy on basic education. Three days later, none of them could come forward with it.
They all left us with the impression, clearly so, that they did not have it already prepared, with less than two months to elections.
This smacks of unseriousness of the highest order and it is most disrespect for the people of this country.
We hope they come up with it in the coming days so we can publish it in our next issue.
This is an issue we hope to spend more time on in the coming weeks.