Public education on Public Education: FQSE investment is already paying off in Early Grades
I still believe that the Free Quality School Education (FQSE) program of H.E President Bio, which I have the blessing of leading, is an investment for our future. In fact, when I was being grilled in Parliament 3 years ago, I told them the place to begin seeing the impact of these policies would be in 2022. To my surprise, however, we believe we have already turned the curve and are now in the Right Direction. See the pass rates, gender Parity numbers, and curriculum changes in the sector. But for now, let me speak about an International Assessment.
Earlier this week, I launched the Early Grade Reading and Early Grade Mathematics Assessments known as EGRA/EGMA. The EGRA/EGMA is a tool that indicates how your kids are doing with foundational concepts/learning in Class 2 and Class 4.
The last EGRA/EGMA Sierra Leone did, was in 2014, and now we can finally have new data. And my word, it’s wonderful to see what an investment in education can do.
We have made significant headway on our EGRA/EGMA results. One way to compare performance over time is to look at zero scores – the percentage of students who score zero on a given reading or mathematics task. I am proud to say that we have cut the percentage of zero scores in half or better in seven years across nearly all tasks. Our learners are now getting the building blocks that will allow them to benefit from the entire educational system, and Sierra Leone is faring better in comparison to other countries in our economic bracket.
This is no coincidence as we added a minimum of one year of pre-primary education to our school system in 2018 for the first time. We also have trained thousands of teachers in P1-P3 Literacy and Numeracy. Yes, we have built close to a hundred ECD classrooms, deployed over 20,000 ECD books, trained ECD teachers, and started implementing the Integrated Early childhood development policy.
The EGRA/EGMA report also shows we have a lot of work to do, and I encourage you to read it and see how we can continue this work for our children.
I am so excited for the future of this country!
Download the document directly here and read it.