The Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary School Education, Dr David Moinina Sengeh has affirmed that education is the most important gift that can be given to children.

He made this statement on Monday, 6th February 2023 during his opening remarks at the Foundational Learning Exchange summit at the Freetown International conference center in Freetown.

The learning exchange summit which commence today will ends on the 7th February 2023. The program host over 80 educational policy makers, technical and development partners including seven Ministers of education from Africa.

Heads of global institutions like UNESCO institutes of statistics; World Bank’s Global Education Director, and heads of several private foundations were also in attendance.

The Minister reflects that ‘’what started as a conversation in Paris, London and New York, in small rooms in 2021 and 2022 with likeminded friends many of whom are in the room today has today become a reality’’

He further described President Bio as One of the five Global Champions of the United Nations Secretary-General who has been a leading advocate for foundational learning.

He expressed optimism that this first foundational learning exchange between African countries and leading global organizations will prioritize conversations around the fundamental stages of a child’s development. He specially thanked his colleagues from Ghana , Liberia, Cote d’ Ivoire, Nigeria, Gambia Malawi and Uganda who are following the summit online.

He further revealed that Sierra Leone is actively working to expand access to quality education through President Bio sponsored free quality education program.

He recalled that in the midst of Covid-19, there were many countries that scaled down their educational financing; Sierra Leone devoted 22% of its Budget to education.

He expressed thanks and appreciation to President Bio for supporting the Kenyatta’s declaration for countries to invest a minimum of 20% of their budget to education. He disclosed that many of his colleague ministers have asked him to ask President Bio to please asked his colleagues to increase the education budget for the country.

He further discussed that ‘’investment in education is the best gift we can give our children. In the next two days our hope is that we identify possible solutions, some of which we are working on already and some we seek to improve such that it will promote foundational learning and accelerate progress towards the SDGS 4 goal quality education. These are investments that must be driven by evidence based policy developments and decisions making strengthening digitization and innovation, good education and promoting open collaboration with access to quality learning and teaching materials. My team was in Ghana recently learning from Ghana because we believe that we must learnt from within since we have so much in the continent. Untill every Child around the globe has an equal opportunity to access quality education the world would remain unequal and limited in its ability to harnessed our collective human capacity’’ he stated.

Thtwo-dayay summit is sponsored by the government of Sierra Leone with partners like the World Bank, UNICEF, Hempel Foundation, and the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education