Public education on Public Education: SLPP Government to invest $20 million directly into 5,074 public primary schools via Schools Management Committees!
It is quick for critics to demonize public schools. However, public schools (government-owned and government-assisted) are largely a reflection of our communities. The government is implementing focused programs to improve education nationwide by putting the ownership and responsibility back to our communities.
According to the Education Act of 2004, government-owned schools are managed and run by School Management Committees (SMCs) in primary and Boards of Governors (BoGs) in secondary. Before 2018, SMCs and BoGs were political tools and largely non-functional. President Bio promised to de-politicize BoGs and revamped SMCs via training.
New BoG and SMC Manuals have been developed and validated. Right across the country, they’ve been or are being trained in fiduciary and administrative planning and management.
Within the MBSSE Multi-Donor Trust Fund, $19.6 million will be distributed to primary schools directly via the Performance-Based Financing scheme, giving schools resources for achieving certain learning outputs and targets (enrollment, attendance, completion, gender mindfulness, etc.). To better enhance our chance of success with these resources, lead facilitators from FBC, Freetown Teacher’s College, and seasoned retired teachers are currently training trainers among the SMCs. The latter will then cascade that training for each school!
Six thousand four hundred sixty-four primary schools will benefit from the training, more than those who will get financial support because we promised our people.
Next time we want to point out that our public education system is bad in our communities, let’s ask ourselves when last we attended a Community Teacher Association meeting. And then ask if we know who the SMC Chair and Head Teacher is for the school in our community. Then find out who your Councillor is and ask them about their ongoing support to the schools.
At HQ, we will continue to build the systems and provide the tools for improving quality, but the work has to be done by us all in the communities.
I remain very excited about the revamping of our public education, one school and one community at a time.