The Ministry of Basic And Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) in partnership with Plan International Sierra Leone will be establishing a Youth Advisory Group by April this year, with the strategic goal of engaging young people in internal decision-making at all levels in a spirit of collaboration, transparency and mutual learning.

During a roundtable discussion held on Thursday 27th January at the Minister Dr. Moinina Sengeh stated that last November during the COP26 Summit in Glasgow, he made a commitment to establish a Youth Advisory Board goes into the Education Act and this will make it part of the Structure of the MBSSE.

“The Ministry is providing services for close to three million people which is close to 50 percent of the country’s population. So it doesn’t make sense if young people are not part of the Architecture of that decision making. We are starting small with the Youth Advisory Group and that’s why we brought them here today in order to brainstorm which will inform the final design of the program.” the minister said.

The country Director of plan international Sierra Leone Mr. Evariste Sidayigaya said for plan , they recognized that by not including young people in their planning and decision making process, everything they do including governance they are loosing huge opportunity, not only in terms of legitimacy or the value of value they make , but also the unique perspective that young people bring to their work.

“Young people, the future will be kind to you if you contribute in writing it, and I can’t be more excited today to say that the Honourable Minister and the leadership of the Ministry has given you a platform to Join them in writing your own history, your own future, therefore do not underestimate this opportunity.” he said

He said their responsibility with support from MBSSE is to make sure that they develop together pathways of young people into leadership, and resources.

“I want to make a commitment that plan International Sierra Leone will continue to make sure that the voices of young people are heard and valued” he said

The Deputy Minster of Education (1) encouraged young people to continue to break barriers, noting that their are on the verge of leaving and they need vibrant young people to take after them.

Youth Adocacy Group will comprise sixteen members each representing their own four (4) members- one each from the following groups: special needs institution, parents Learners, Tertiary ot Vocational institutions; and Remote/ hard -to reach area, and a minimum of (8) females.

The important selection criteria for YAG members will be that they are creative and innovative thinkers and high motivated.

During the round table discussion, Sorie Korombo and Mariam Samai who are youths working with plan international Sierra Leone , did a presentation on what you ng people desire from the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education when the Youth Advisory group is established