From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, ActionAid ends ‘Out of School’ Project Workshop in Tonkolili
By Ibrahim Pelus Kamara
Nov 23, 2010, 17:00

ActionAid International-Sierra Leone operating in Tonkolili District in collaboration with the District Education Office has concluded a one-day consultative meeting with about fifty (50) key stakeholders from the eleven chiefdoms of the district at the Magburaka Community Centre.

Giving an overview of the meeting, ActionAid Tonkolili District Manager, Edward Kanu reiterated the concern for the high rate of children dropping out of school. He said as to the current moment survey has suggested that over three hundred thousand children in Sierra Leone are out of school. He said it was the responsibility of stakeholders, especially parents, guardians and community people at large to ensure that their children are retained in schools. He on that note admonished participants to take the meeting seriously as according to him it is geared towards sensitising the community on the importance of enrolment, retention and completion of Basic Education by all school age children in that part of the country.

He disclosed that the Out of School project they are currently implementing is being funded by UNICEF sine that UN agency believes that ‘education is the sure way of drastically ending poverty, promote peace and development as each child must have unhindered access to free quality basic education,” Mr. Kanu said, adding that as an organization they believe in working collaboratively with government line ministries, civil society organizations, NGO’s amongst others to end poverty and social injustices through education.


According to the Project Officer, Peter Abdulia, the aims and objectives of the out of school project are three fold; to ensure an increase to 10% by December, 2011 the number of girls accessing basic education, increase out of school enrolment by 30 percent and to disseminate the code document to 70% of education stakeholders such as teachers, pupils, parents and other community structures.

Deputy Director of Education for Tonkolili District, Umar Alusine Bah briefly spoke on the criteria for maintaining a child friendly school status. He disclosed that Concern Worldwide has volunteered to produce five thousand (5,000) code of conduct books for teachers within the district with the exception of a few Chiefdoms.

In another development, the Missionary Church of Africa (MCA) Junior Secondary School in Magburaka on Friday 5th November, 2010 officially opened a small library in the school.

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