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COMMENTS & OPINIONS  

A REJOINDER: A New Direction for Higher Education in Sierra Leone: Reform and Growth.
By Karamoh Kabba
Jul 25, 2012, 17:22
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Mr. Editor, I take great exception to Mr. Maada Bios unfounded and baseless insinuations he published on your medium on the 19th of July 2012 entitled, A New Direction for Higher Education in Sierra Leone: Reform and Growth. Simply, he has either clearly demonstrated great ignorance or dishonesty of the reckless disregard of decadence obtained in his Sierra Leone Peoples Party (SLPP) eleven years administration spanning from 1996 2007 inherited by the All Peoples Congress (APC) Government of President Ernest Bai Koroma in 2007.

 

It behooves me, therefore, to state that Mr. Maada Bios empty insinuations beg for the following question; why should Sierra Leones higher education be in need of reforms five years later just after SLPPs eleven years of governance if they did any work at all on higher education reforms?

 

The answer is in few words: SLPPs was a mad house, and the few wise men and women were overcome by mad owners of the house. The great literary laureate, Chinua Achebe has taught us that when you live in a mad house, even if the sane housemates are in majority, they are certain to be overcome by its few mad owners. It was worst in the case of SLPP Cabinet and Parliament, because they were in majority, and they ran both Houses for eleven years, holding their few wise housemates to a ransom until they shook it off and discovered themselves, reorganized and showed the voters sufficient reason to vote out mad tenants from their houses.


Rather disturbing and unfortunate, Maada Bio is not even aware of the embarrassment he is causing his running mate who was also a part of the system as a very senior faculty member that rolled out students who could not even hold a sentence together without littering it with grammatical mistakes and logical flaws.

 

How could Mr. Maada Bio now profess that such an individual will be able to help him to reform a system she helped to run down the drain?

 

Oh well, like Maada who was forced to admit to collectively killing of 29 Sierra Leoneans during his days as a junta monitor, who was a wife batterer now boldly pretending he can uphold human rights and also enforce laws against wife beaters when he becomes president, Madam Khadi Sesay, Maadas Running mate was one of the deadwood administrators that destroyed the good-old image of higher education in Sierra Leone. And for Mr. Maada Bio, he needs to first admit wrongdoing of committing crimes against humanity, of committing atrocities and of being a wife beater in the past as well as tendering an apology.

 

But instead, he speaks copiously of accountability in the education sector whereas the present Minister of Education has uncovered hundreds of ghost teachers and schools left behind by the SLPP government.

 

Let me radiate some light on Maada Bios fussy knowledge of what obtains in Sierra Leone vis--vis the overall education reforms he needs to familiarize himself with before gearing into his known-rambling mode in discussing serious matters of governance:

 

The National Education Programme for All includes:

  • a formulated national policy on technical, vocational education and training;
  • increased salaries for teachers ranging from 200 to 400%;
  • increased in lecturers salaries by over 50%;
  • increased allowances to Sierra Leoneans studying abroad from 60 dollars a month in 2007 to 150 dollars today;
  • tuition payment for girls in JSS, and women studying sciences in the universities;
  • payment of public exams for more primary, junior and secondary schools than ever before;
  • payment of public examinations in polytechnic and teacher training colleges;
  • the training of 300 teachers;
  • launching the Professor Gbamanja Commission of enquiry to review the education sector;
  • recruitment of over 4000 additional teachers based on a new National Policy on Teacher Training and Development;
  • establishment of a Teaching Service Commission to ensure the effective management of the teaching profession;
  • construction of 7 new vocational and technical institutes in Kono, Kenema, Kailahun, Koinadugu, Bombali, Bo and Moyamba;
  • rehabilitation of the Government Technical Institute at Magburaka;
  • revision of the curriculum of technical and vocational institutes to include new trades that are attractive to women;
  • supporting non-government run technical and vocational institutes;
  • extending the grants-in-aid award to all disabled students who have gained admission to tertiary institutions to acquire higher education;
  • construction, refurbishing and furnishing of schools in Bombali, Tonkolili, Koinadugu, Port Loko, Kambia, Kailahun, Kenema, Kono, Bo, Bonthe and Moyamba.

Above all, Njala University College was returned to its original location in Mokonde Njala by the APC Government after dangling in decrepit housings here and there for all the eleven years SLPP was in power.

 

At the same time, President Kabbah was supporting billions and billions of Special Court project only to try about ten people. His heartlessness was clearly demonstrated by the fact that Njala was languishing in shanty house just opposite the state of the art Special Court complex President Kabbah had supported.

Notably also, there is a project underway to transform Bunumbu Teachers College into a university, which will entitle like the other three regions, the Eastern Province to a university college.

 

We are not however surprised at his childish dispositions which we always thought were lies. But there is now much need to revisit our position and take a second look at Mr. Maada Bio wont you think he seems more like a man suffering from inadequacies?

 

Nonetheless, Mr. Maada Bio has never lived a life of romanticism or pretense realism in respectability nor has he lived a life of magic realism with tendencies to deceive voters into voting him before they wake up to a demon after the fact. Alas, Maada Bio has only lived a life that is marred by human rights abuse and crimes against humanity, and he cannot fool the people into voting him in.


© Copyright by Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

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