The Free Quality School Education (FQSE) of the New Direction Government of President Dr Julius Maada Bio has been acclaimed locally and globally for the programme’s massive impact on the education of children in Sierra Leone.

Before President Bio came to power the educational system was in turmoil, marked by many years of neglect; something that got the President and his Government to make this kind of unprecedented intervention.

The Bio administration centres its flagship education programme on human capital development. That is why education is at the heart of the government’s Medium-term National Development Plan (NDP) 2019-2023. These have started yielding massive dividends- both locally and internationally.

Due to his vision towards the transformation of the education sector in Sierra Leone, through his Radical Inclusion Policy, His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio, was in February 2022, recognised and chosen to serve as the Co-chairman of the SDG-4 Education High-Level Steering Committee. This Committee works to put education at the centre of global attention. What is remarkable for us in Sierra Leone is that the President of this tiny West African state is one of those providing leadership at the global stage!
The President is not alone in all of this, as the young man he appointed as Minister of Basic and Secondary School Education (MBSSE), Dr. David Moinina Sengeh, recently won the ‘Best Minister of the World’ award in recognition of the positive impact he has made in the education sector in Sierra Leone over the years. The award is an annual ceremony hosted in association with Pricewaterhouse Coopers (PwC) to honour the efforts of government ministers and the impact they are creating in society.

The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres in August 2022 invited His Excellency, President Dr. Julius Maada Bio and his Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Dr. David Moinina Sengeh, to attend and serve as “Founding Members of the Transforming Education Summit” which was held between the 16 and 19 September 2022 at the U.N Headquarters in New York, USA. In the letter, the U.N Secretary-General states:

“The solution to many of our shared global challenges begins with education, yet across the world, education is in deep crisis. This is a crisis of equity, quality, and relevance and demands urgent and sustained action…” says the U.N Secretary-General. The U.N Secretary General acclaimed Sierra Leone for the positive transformation she has taken in the education sector. Sierra Leone has taken several important steps to transform education domestically, and through the Minister for Education, has made a critical contribution to the preparatory process of the Summit.

Also worthy of note is the fact that Sierra Leone has excelled impressively in the U.S Government’s Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) scorecard with 92% in primary education expenditures for the 2022 Fiscal Year as compared to 27% in 2017. The scorecard is an independent assessment of developing countries to determine their eligibility for multi-million-dollar grants from the United States Government. The MCC scorecard shows the Bio administration passed 13 out of the 20 indicators.

The Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Dr. David Moinina Sengeh was quoted by the November 3 2022 edition of the Politico Newspaper, as saying that “the MCC scorecard also shows an increase in Girls Primary Education Completion Rate from 41% in 2017 to 67% in 2021.”

This landmark achievement in education did not come overnight, rather it is because of the seriousness, huge resources (over 21% of budgetary allocation plus other grants), and the great efforts the Bio administration is investing into the education sector in Sierra Leone.
Records from the education ministry in 2022 show that there has been a significant increase in the number of schools approved by the New Direction Administration. In that year, pre-primary school approval was 53.4%, 78.7% for primary schools, 76.7% for junior secondary and 80.4% for senior secondary schools across the country.

The international acclamations the Bio administration has received coupled with the country’s qualification for the MCC Compact Grant, which were farfetched in previous administrations, are milestone achievements for Sierra Leone.
The visit of the MCC Chief Executive Officer, Alice Albright to His Excellency President Dr. Julius Maada Bio is a mark of confidence the U.S government has in the Bio administration.

I believe that every patriotic Sierra Leonean irrespective of political affiliation should be proud of President Bio and Minister Dr. Sengeh for the unprecedented historical achievements in placing Sierra Leone at the global stage.

It is therefore safe to say that patriots of Sierra Leone who value the progress the country is making in the education sector would overwhelmingly vote for President Bio on June 24 2023 for continuation of these landmark achievements in the education sector.