The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) through the Teaching Service Commission (TSC) will be submitting the list of 680 teachers, of which 203 are Heads of Schools from different public schools, for retirement in 2023.

According to the Secretary of TSC, Mr. Sorie I. Turay, their retirements take effect on August 31, 2023, and it is anticipated that they will be paid the gratuities together with their last salaries on August 31, 2023. He said the TSC was approved by the Cabinet for teachers to retire once a year on August 31st of every year to avoid disruption to the school year.

“The retirement letters of these teachers were dispatched to their different schools early in the year, and they are expected to complete the retirement forms and submit them to the TSC Offices in their respective districts. The forms will then be submitted to the Ministry of Finance for processing. Copies of the retirement letters can be collected from the TSC offices if they have not received copies” he said.

He added that it is in line with the mandatory retirement age in the teaching service, which is 60 years; however, he stated that there is a concession for teachers who are: teaching Science, Technology, Agriculture, Engineering, and Mathematics (STAEM) subjects to extend their retirement age to 65 years if they are willing.

Turay said TSC faced the challenge of some teachers not wanting to retire at age 60, and some of them were purporting to be STEAM teachers, noting that has been sorted out already.

He said the government is presently processing 2,800 teachers who will soon be included in the government payroll. Teachers make up 40% of the entire government payroll, and since 2018, over 5,424 teachers have been placed in their right pay grade. Over 300 school heads have been regularized.

In the buildup to the end of April 2020, there were concerns that the government might not be able to fulfill its commitment due to the emergence of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic that forced many nations to reduce budgetary support for education. However, the government kept the promise and paid the 30% increase for up to 34,350 teachers across the country. The increment at the time meant that the payroll for teachers increased by Le 13.45 billion, from Le 42.95 billion in March 2020 to Le 56.40 billion in April 2020.

Recently, there was another 45% increase in the salary of teachers to be implemented in three years.

Over 500 principals and vice principals have been appointed between August 2020 and November 2021. All were previously either acting positions or vacant.

Presidential National Best Teacher Awards in the two years of the event, 112 teachers were honored by the President of Sierra Leone for their service and dedication as teachers. Two of the national winners were nominated for the African Union Best Teacher Prize, and several have benefited from advanced training opportunities.

The third of this annual event takes place on October 5th, 2023.