On International Education Day, the Minster of Basic and Senior Secondary Education(MBSSE), David Moinina Sengeh spoke to the BBC about Sierra Leone’s educational history and about the successes of his ministry.

Sierra Leone was profiled for it transformational policies in education by the BBC.

According to the BBC, Sierra Leone has received praise for transforming its education system, despite struggling to recover from disruption to education at different stages of its history through war, the Ebola crisis, and most recently the Covid-19 pandemic.

Speaking of the success of education in Sierra Leone, the Minister of MBSSE, David Sengeh noted that they have increased domestic and resources mobilisation and domestic funding of education to about 22% this year.

He said that Sierra Leone is the only nation to have expand its domestic education financing in the year of Covid-19.

“We are as a people recognise our history based on quality education. We use to be the Athens of West Africa,” Minster Sengeh said.

He added that over the last 10 years what they thought as a quality education and where the they wanted the country to be were not the same.

“So, we have begun to see leadership happening at the community level and the parent level. We have implemented policies and stuck to those policies,” he said.

The MBSSE minister said that they have been able to achieve gender parity in primary and junior secondary schools in the country, but noted that the gap is widened in the senior secondary school level.

He noted that before kids that took the junior secondary school examination had to wait for three to six months before they went to senior secondary school, noting that many girls would get pregnant during that period.

“We have been able to release results now at the end of junior secondary school within three months. So at the start of the school year, you’re not waiting on extra three months for you to continue, which means that we have actually fewer girls who are getting pregnant in our schools these days,” Minister Sengeh said.