A recent report on the status of education in the world published by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) rated Sierra Leone as being 7th among the 12th least educated countries with 43% literacy rating.
This backlash came despite the fact that the President Bio led New Direction administration launched the Free Quality Education Flagship Programme upon assuming office in 2018.
The flagship pregramme seeks to ensure that schooling is made affordable for every child in Sierra Leone by way of creating access and conducive learning environment which will guarantee its quality.
It is belief of many likeminded Sierra Leoneans that the quality aspect of the introduced Free Quality Education Programme is still farfetched as it is yet to be realized.
This belief has now been endorsed by UNESCO who stated that access to quality education, retention and completion of school remain challenging for children in Sierra Leone.
UNESCO further maintained that the poor quality is compounded by poverty, gender discrimination, long distances to schools, perceived low value placed on education, negative social norms, early marriage, teenage pregnancy and unsafe learning environment.
“Furthermore, few opportunities exist for alternative education for out-of-school boys and girls, which could help them to acquire functional literacy for sustainable livelihoods and economic empowerment, to realize their full potential and contribute meaningfully to nation building,” UNESCO stated.
The quality of the Free Quality Education was also recently questioned by Hon. Rugiatu Rosy Kanu of Constituency 113 during a debate in the Well of Parliament to appreciate President Bio for his speech during the State Opening of Fourth Session of Fifth Parliament of the Second Republic.
She did not hesitate to point out that there is now huge turn out in the number of pupils attending schools but the promised infrastructure to accommodate the number of pupils is not there which is seriously affecting the learning atmosphere which in turns impact on its quality.