From Awareness Times Newspaper in Freetown

Local News
In Sierra Leone, Parliament Endorses Teaching Service Commission
By Augustine Samba
Dec 8, 2010, 14:24

The House of Parliament of the Republic of Sierra Leone on Tuesday 7th December 2010 unanimously endorsed the Bill titled ‘The Sierra Leone Teaching Service Commission Act 2010’ into Law.  The bill was tabled before the House by the Minster of Education, Youths and Sports, Dr. Minkailu Bah.

In his argument, the Minister informed Members of Parliament that such a bill deserved a national identity, referring to it as a replica of developmental initiative that would change the educational system to a better standard.

In order to further convince the House Dr. Bah said the main objective of bill was to improve the welfare of teachers in order to have a focused and motivated teaching corps to improve on the country’s educational standard.

When enacted, he said there would now be laws responsible for the recruitment, promotion, transfers and lay off of teachers all over the country aimed at in his words ‘making  the teaching field more attractive than before.’

In his contribution the Hon. Kamba Koedoyomu of the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) said the bill would add value to the education of pupils in the country. He maintained that if the welfare of teachers is not well addressed, no quality education would be achieved. “Education has dropped rapidly in recent years but this bill will help to revive it,” he noted.  He said this is because the rights and obligations of teachers are well specified in the bill that will help and encourage them to deliver effectively and efficiently.

For his part, PMDC Hon. Siaka Sama expressed that there is no way we can develop Sierra Leone without strengthening the educational system. He said it is appalling that unlike in other countries where teachers automatically receive their salaries after recruitment, in Sierra Leone teachers have to struggle for months without salary even when approved. “This unfair treatment has been discouraging people from going into the teaching field,” he disclosed, while referring to the bill as a move in the right direction for the success of education in the country.

Hon. Mathew Timbo of the APC described the bill as ‘a special reformation in the education system.’ According him, the bill would not only improve teachers’ welfare but would also encourage them to go in to the provinces where there is a scarcity of good teachers.

Other MPs, including both the Majority and Minority Leaders also lent their voices in support of the bill to become law.



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