From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Government to Review 6-3-3-4 System of Education
By Bampia Bindu
Jul 30, 2010, 17:16

The Government of Sierra Leone on Thursday 29th July 2010 made public the White Paper on the report of the Gbamanja Commission of Inquiry set up to look into the poor performance of pupils in the Basic Education Certificate Examinations (BECE) and West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) in 2008.

The commission upon conclusion of their findings came out with series of recommendations, principal among which was the modification of the 6-3-3-4 system of education introduced by the NPRC in 1993. The system according to the recommendations accepted by government will now include the accommodating of the implementation of early child hood education and the review of the 6-3-3-4 by extending by one year of the duration of senior secondary school.  In effect, the system will now become 6-3-4-4 with effect from the start of next academic year.

Other pertinent recommendations accepted by government included the criminalization of the practice of illegal admission of pupils into secondary schools by teachers, principals and head teachers, the phasing out of the two shift system when provisions shall have been made for additional classrooms and extension of school hours to 2:30 p.m. daily with a 45 minutes lunch break.  However government refused to accept the banning of extra lessons for students on school premises though agreed that syndicate classes on school premises should be banned.

Government did not also accept the recommendation that the payment of BECE and WASSCE Examination Fees for Pupils should be discontinued and that they should continue to provide textbooks and other learning materials, though payment for children attending private schools was accepted to be discontinued

Ban on access courses in tertiary institutions was accepted in the recommendations but that the Faculty of Science in a University may organize preparatory programmes for science candidates wishing to retake the WASSCE, and that such students should be treated as extramural candidates and not University students.  Strict adherence to matriculation requirements for admission of students by Universities and other Tertiary Educational Institutions was wholly also accepted by Government among many other recommendations of the Commission

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