Planting Promise is an organization dedicated to the development of education in Sierra Leone. Its aim is to bring opportunities to initiate self-run, self-supporting projects that offer real solutions to the difficulties facing the world's poorest country. They believe real and lasting development comes from below, from local projects that address specific needs, rather than large international models. To this end, they currently run five projects that aim to bring wealth into the country through business. The profits from these businesses are then used to support free education for children and adults. Through the combination of business with social progress, the charity hopes that they are providing real, lasting and profound changes for the better, by promoting sustainable and beneficial industry in the country, and putting it to the service to the needs of the people. As well as providing the income to fund the school, the farms will also be an example of successful commercial enterprise to teach the children in the school the viability of profit-making schemes that go beyond subsistence models, the only things the children of these desperately poor areas are accustomed to. By learning particular details of the challenges that they will face, the children will emerge from this school equipped to contribute in a real way to their society.

Alpha Timbo, minister of basic and secondary education has disclosed that about 8,000 primary and secondary schools are set to benefit from the Free Quality Education package recently launched by President Bio.

The schools that are to be benefit from this package includes government and government assisted schools across the country.

The Minister, who was on a visit to Bonthe district to engage stakeholders on some of the educational challenges and to map the way forward, said 2.14 million school pupils attending about 8,000 schools countrywide are to benefit from the scheme.

He said in fulfillment of President Bio’s Free Quality Education policy, government has allocated enough resources through the Ministry of Finance to support the system.

Timbo assured that by the end of this week, government will ensure that all schools would have received their cheques to cover school fees ahead of the start of the new academic year on September 17.

He furthered that government will pay the sum of Le 10,000 per child for primary school pupils, Le 50,000 for JSS pupils and Le 60,000 for SSS pupils.

Minister Timbo maintained that the early payment of school fees for all pupils is to ensure that school authorities does not demand or harass pupils and parents for the payment of such fees.

He therefore warned all school authorities to desist from demanding the payment of extra charges for either as school fees or admission, saying that the law will frown at anyone caught doing so.

He concluded by also assuring that school subsidies and other allocations will be disbursed on time to enable school authorities effectively operate their schools.

A representative from the Parliamentary Committee on Education, Hon. Sheku Turay, said their Committee consists of 17 members and could possibly not do the job alone but has to rely on the support of other Members of Parliament, local councils and other stakeholders if the Free Education initiative is to succeed.

He urged every citizen to embrace the move for it to be achieved, adding that the general interest of the country should be put above partisan politics.

PC Ali Badara Sheriff, spoke on the deplorable conditions of service for teachers and urged the government to urgently look into it and improve on their salaries from a paltry sum of Le 700,000 to Le 3 Million and above so as to prevent them from engaging in corrupt practices.


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