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Sierra Leone News: Textbooks to be managed and distributed through Local Councils

The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education in collaboration with DfID on Tuesday 20 November 2018, held discussions with authorities within local councils to develop a policy for the effective supply, distribution and handling of the 2.7 million textbooks that are soon to arrive. The textbooks are part of the free, quality education initiative that began almost four months ago. The objective of the meeting was to set up a policy for distribution and handling of the free quality packages. The Minister pointed out that the supply and distribution process will be coordinated with representatives within the education sector. He furthered that implementation of the education program has faced innumerable challenges. He noted the need for devolution of functions within the educational sector for effective service delivery. He said after the conference, the council Chairs and Mayors will be involved in the textbook management and distribution. Phil Bebb, Education Advisor, DfID, spoke about the research work, which generally called for pupils to directly handle the textbooks. Bebb pointed out that because of inadequate storage facilities in most schools and the need for pupils to review lessons, the research concluded that most schools and pupils want to directly handle the textbooks and return the books at the end of week, term or the academic school year. The Chair of the Kambia District Council informed the Minister of the numerous constraints faced by inhabitants of his District with the lack of schools in most Chiefdoms.  Speaking at the conference the Policy Advisor UKAid, Annie Homer, said they have supported the education program and there are books that will be supplied to every school in Sierra Leone. These books, according to the National Coordinator of the Free Quality School Education Program, Amara Sowa, said the books will be clearly labeled for each district as per specified by the Ministry. He said the containers stocked with the books will be moved straight from the port of Freetown after customs clearance to the designated Local Councils.


By Sylvia Villa

Thursday November 23, 2018.

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