Milton Margai School for the Blind, National School for the Deaf among other learners with special needs have received school buses from the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) for the first time since 2003 when Dr Alpha Wurie was the Minister of Education.

“In 1996 just before I transitioned to secondary school, I was the Head Boy here and I gave the vote of thanks for the first bus that was given to us by the then Minister of Education Dr. Alpha Wurie, and just before I completed my secondary education in 2003 I was fortunate again to give the vote of thanks for another 40-seaters bus donated by Dr Alpha Wurie and that was the last time we received a bus from the Ministry of Education. Today, as Head of this institution I am privileged again to receive the key to a brand new bus,” head teacher for the Milton Margai School for the blind, Salieu Turay said.

Mr Turay on Thursday 17th March received the key to a brand new bus from the Deputy Minister 1 in MBSSE Madam Emily Kadiatu Gogra.

According to Mr. Turay, when Dr David Moinina Sengeh was appointed as Basic Education Minister in 2019, he pledged to prioritize special needs education and that has been demonstrated over the years, noting that his institution is getting the maximum support from the entire leadership of the Ministry.

The Deputy Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education regarded the handing over of the bus as a dream come true and thanked the World Bank and other donor partners for their kind gesture, adding that the ministry saw the challenge of the kids with regards transportation and decided to come to their aid.

She said the Ministry cannot afford to leave the disabled behind because they also can contribute immensely to the development of the country. She called on the beneficiaries to take good care of the buses as this will encourage their partners to do more.

The Coordinator of the Free Education Project Mr. Ambrose Sesay said the buses will ease the movement of the children in and out of town, noting that this was made possible by the Sierra Leone National Policy on Radical Inclusion in Schools which says that everybody should benefit from the free education that the government is offering.

“There is a lot in the development plate to provide for the learners with special needs. One of the pillars in the Free Quality School Education (FQSE) is inclusive education, so whatever we do in any school is geared towards inclusiveness,” he said.

He said the buses that are meant for the learners with special needs are five and they are presently being distributed to the various institutions in the country.

Madam Mari Shojo is a Senior Education Specialist with the Education Global Practice of the World Bank, she called on special needs children to never give up and make use of every opportunity. She reminded the students that the future of the country depends on them.