SLTU pays courtesy call on Education Minister

By Mustapha Sesay 

A high powered delegation of the Sierra Leone Teachers Union Executive led by their president Alhaji Mohamed S Bangura on Wednesday16th May 2018 paid a courtesy call on the newly appointed Education Minister for Primary and Secondary Schools, Honourable Alpha Timbo at his New England Vile Office.

Mr Bangura commended the minister on his appointment and revealed that the pronouncement of the Free Education during the State Opening of Parliament by President Julius Bio is welcome news.

He stressed on the expectations of teachers and education stakeholders and that the union is prepared to work assiduously to actualize this dream.

Mr Bangura furthered that there is a huge task in the education sector looking at the multiple problems of teachers, schools, and the teaching profession as a whole. With these problems, the minister needs time to settle and plan effective delivery in addressing the following issues:. Need for salary increase and improved condition of service for teachers.  Approval of schools and teacher, Promotions, Reassessment and Payment according to qualification and experience, Provision of adequate teaching and learning materials, More school structures/classrooms to cater for the envisaged rapid increase enrollment, Empowerment of the Teaching Service Commission (TSC), Timely payment of school fees subsidy and or support to schools, and the recent deletion of 1,723 teachers from the payroll.

The SLTU president used the opportunity to officially inform the minister about the SLTU National Quadrennial Delegates Conference (NQDC) on the 22nd – 23rd June 2018 and have agreed to invite H.E President of the Republic of Sierra Leone to deliver the key note address at the opening ceremony on June 22nd 2018.

In his response, the Education Minister Hon Alpha Timbo expressed delight and noted that the visit will pave the way to discuss relevant educational issues. Honourable Timbo admonished the Union to work in collaboration with the ministry so as to achieve quality education.

The Minister noted the priority placed on Free and Quality Education for the development of the country by President Bio and the Sierra Leone Peoples Party.

He called on the teachers to embrace the good will of the government and help in the implementation process of the free and quality Education. It was noted that some of the problems encountered by the teachers twenty years ago still exist and this will be addressed with collaborative efforts.

A committee made up of SLTU, Local Authorities, Political Parties, Civil Society Organisations and others will soon commence work  on data collection of schools, teachers, and pupils in the various Wards. This structure at Ward and District levels will be very instrumental in the operations of the schools.

The government is ready to strengthen the Teaching Service Commission so that they cope with the recruitment process of teachers. Honourable Alpha Timbo stressed that there are plans for the recruitment

of teachers but requested for the Teachers Data Base, which he will be technically working on for the approval of teachers.

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