The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) in partnership with the United Nation Children Fund (UNICEF) during the Annual Review and rolling work plan development has committed to have more children improve meaningfully on learning outcomes.

The event took place on Thursday 3rd March 2022 at the Bintumani Hotel in Freetown.

While chairing the deliberation, the Chief Education Officer (CEO) at MBSSE Mrs. Yatta Kanu highlighted the three specific objectives of the sector review which she said is to review progress towards planned results in 2021, identify lessons learned, and challenges and way forward, and review plans for the rolling work plan 2022-2023.

According to her, UNICEF always channels their development plans based on the priority area of a member state and for Sierra Leone, education is the top priority, noting that during the deliberation they were able to review the UNICEF funded projects in education over the past one year.

She said the different people that are working on those activities were present and they reported the state of their activities.

The UNICEF Chief of Education Madam Celeste Staley while giving the situation update stated that Integrated Early Childhood Development (IECD) Policy for children 0-8 years old approved, National Radical Inclusion Policy 2021 adopted to ensure every child their right to education specifically for parent learners, students with special needs, students in marginalized areas, low income households and pregnant girls.

“There is increased poverty impacting in part due to COVID pandemic and increasing inflation on children’s access to and regularity in schools, COVID-19 continues to impact social services with a direct impact which slows progress on education for all,” she said.

She said in achieving their outcomes by 2023, four outputs will contribute immensely; the Government has improved evidence and strengthened capacity to ensure education policy planning, implementation and management, that government authorities and communities are better able to improve the coverage and quality of early learning and development activities, the education system has strengthened capacity to improve the quality of basic education and adolescents (particularly girls) have improved access to opportunities to develop skills for learning and active citizenship.

The Deputy Minister 1 of Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education Madam Emily Kadiatu Gogra stressed the importance of the gathering, noting that MBSSE has four priorities which are universal access, comprehensive safety, radical inclusion and quality teaching and learning with one goal which is improving learning outcomes for all students.

She commended UNICEF for helping MBSSE in achieving its priorities, noting that huge progress has been made in the recent past.

“There is a big lift considering the years that we were without curriculum and policy. A lot has been done also for teachers in the country. However, more needs to be done going forward. We need better partnership and coordination of activities. Premium needs to be paid on comprehensive safety and WASH. This is still a challenge in many of our schools in the country,” she said.