From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Civil Society, Journalists Discuss Education Financing
By Bampia Bundu
Nov 24, 2010, 17:00

In collaboration with Education for All Coalition (EFA-SL), Action Aid International, Sierra Leone (AAI-SL) on 23rd November 2010, engaged civil society organizations and journalists in an education financing conference at the Grassroots Gender Empowerment Movement (GGEM) hall, John Street in Freetown.

The participants were drawn from the four regions in the country.

Education Coordinator, Action Aid International, Madam Madiana Samba, noted that the objective of the conference is to increase the knowledge of civil society organizations and members of the fourth estate on the issues of education and the budget process.

“This conference also seeks to examine the proposed 2011 budget and to create a platform for ideas to be brought forward especially with regards education,” she explained, adding: “We, as stakeholders must ensure that government spending on education meets the 20% international standards”.

“Finally, the conference seeks to ensure that participants understand their roles as civil society members and newsmen in order for the government to maintain the agreed allocation.

Madam Samba pointed out that they want to ensure the fulfillment of fundamental human rights as well as a democratic and prosperous society wherein access to quality education is guaranteed.

“We want the rights of children, especially the girl child, respected,” she said.

Madam Samba stressed that education is essential towards the achievement of economic growth in every country, noting that education is a major requirement to tackle poverty and enhance sustainable development.

Quality education, he continued, can be achieved if the pupils are granted a conducive learning environment with professional teachers and appropriate teaching and learning materials.

She encouraged the participants to judiciously utilize the knowledge gained from the conference by serving as ambassadors to advocate for an increment in the budget for education in their various constituencies.

National Coordinator, Education for All Coalition, Mr. Joseph Cobinah, and representatives from the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, made vital statements.

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