The Government of Sierra Leone under the leadership of President Bio, has decided to provide tablet computers to all Chiefs to enhance data collection, reporting and monitoring.

This decision was taken at the National Dialogue and consultation with Paramount Chiefs held by the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education in collaboration with the Ministry of  Local Government and Rural Development, on Education development, transforming Education and Education sector plan.

The Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Moinina David Sengeh, explained further the outcome of the meeting. He wrote on his timeline:

“Public education on Public Education: President Bio provides tablets for 190 Paramount Chiefs nationwide for Education Monitoring

“I have been a paramount chief for 37 years and today is one of the best days of my life” P.C Kono Bundor

When the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Ministry of Technical and Higher Education, and the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development converged in Bo today, there were 161 paramount chiefs, regent chiefs and chiefdom speakers all gathered to participate in a national dialogue on education development, transforming education, and education sector plan.

Together, we spoke about the challenges, current policies of the Ministry, our two major donor supported programs- the Global Partnership for Education Implementation Grant and the Multi-Donor Trust Fund (World Bank, European Union, Irish Aid, FCDO and GPE)- and the roles and responsibilities of Paramount Chiefs in effective education service delivery.

This particular activity is one that President Bio has closely followed because of his respect for Chiefs and his passion for Education. I remember that in my first discussions with him while I was solely Chief Innovation Officer, he challenged me to think about providing phones and a monitoring system for Chiefs. Then when I became a Minister of Basic Education, he reminded me again.

Everywhere President goes, Chiefs speak. And every Chief who ever speaks to the President speaks about education- schools and teachers. This is why it was important that as a sector, my colleague Prof Alpha Wurie of MTHE and I were there together to participate in the dialogue. The Deputy Minister of Local Government who took the lead in organizing the meeting also played a critical role in ensuring a truly outstanding outcome. Chaired by the Resident Minister South and the Chairman, Council of Paramount Chiefs; there were three notable outputs.

  1. The Council of Paramount Chiefs will develop a concept paper on their roles and responsibilities for Transforming education.
  2. The Chiefs will each propagate the messages and policies taking action to address issues related to teachers, Boards, School Management Committees, etc.
  3. The Government will provide tablet computers to all Chiefs to enhance data collection, reporting and monitoring. I think when done well, this will make education service delivery better.

This was the first time this type of engagement has ever happened at this level.