For nearly three decades, Sierra Leone’s education system has been plagued by events that have challenged the effective delivery of high-quality education for every child.
Throughout the 1990s, schools were inaccessible to a majority of the population during an 11-year civil war. Twelve years later, the 2014 Ebola outbreak forced schools to close for nine months. This month, schools have reopened after the COVID-19 pandemic forced closures that have lasted nearly half a year.
Despite these major setbacks, there has never been a more exciting time for education in Sierra Leone. In 2018, His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio launched the government’s flagship Free Quality School Education (FQSE) program.
FQSE aims to achieve greater access, quality, and equity for over 1.5 million children by removing financial barriers to school enrollment and improving teaching and learning outcomes.
To meet this commitment, the government significantly increased education spending to 22% of the national budget. However, the government’s commitment to delivering FQSE is not just financial.
Government-commissioned research to inform policy reform
The Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) have been working tirelessly to ensure that this ambitious and transformational vision becomes a reality, and fast. Sierra Leone cannot afford to lose another generation of children to the global learning crisis.