In early May 2022, Sierra Leone’s Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), David Moinina Sengeh was hosted on radio Democracy’s Good Morning Sierra, Leone program, to discuss topical issues concerning his sector.
He eulogized Maada Bio’s-led administration as doing well in the area of education.
“87 percent of our schools are approved today. We now have well over 30 percent more children in school. Our public schools are doing well. We have achieved well over 80-90 percent of our education promises” he said.
Fact-Check Ghana has verified the claims David Sengeh made and presented the facts below.
- Claim: “We have raised education financing to 22% of our budget”.
Verdict: David Sengeh’s claim is utterly false.
VERIFICATION OF CLAIM
In all of his State Opening speeches to parliament from 2018 to 2022, Sierra Leone’s president, Julius Maada Bio claimed that his government has been allocating a gross percentage of 20 and 21 percent of the country’s annual approved budget to education. The president has never said or mentioned anywhere in all of his official speeches and public engagements that his government was giving 22% to education as his Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education Mr. Sengeh claims.
Below is a tabulated presentation showing annual national budgets from 2019 to 2022, allocations to the education sector, and their percentages in a sequential manner.
Source: Sierra Leone’s Ministry of Finance (MoF) Annual Budget – (mof.gov.sl) and Bank of Sierra Leone (BSL).
This is not the first time that Dr. Sengeh has misrepresented facts about the government’s actual budget for Sierra Leone’s education sector.
While delivering a speech at UNESCO’s 2021 Global Education Meeting on 22nd November 2021 Dr .Sengeh said “In the middle of the covid-19 pandemic while many countries contracted their education financing, Sierra Leone expanded its education sector budget to 22%”; a claim that has been proven quite false and misleading owing to the above data from the country’s Ministry of Finance.