The Minister of Education Youths and Sports Minkailu Bah yesterday testified at the Gbamanja Commission of Enquiry at the Miatta Conference Hall on the current status of the educational sector in Sierra Leone which led to the abysmal performance of students in public exams.
The Gbamanja Commission of Enquiry was recently set up by President Koroma to investigate the poor performance of students in public examinations and to submit recommendations to the Government.
The Education Minister highlighted some of the failures within the educational system is due to the lack of completion of subject syllabus, teacher negligence coupled with indiscipline in schools.
He also disclosed that the West African Examination Council External Examination reports has submitted series of reports on the poor performance in public exams by students and those principals are failing to read the reports to make the necessary corrections.
On the question of Access being used to gain college admission the Minister categorically stated that the system was introduced at FBC for the faculty of Applied Sciences but unfortunately the system has been corrupted as it has being used to raise money for teachers.
He further disclosed that the corrupt system in the educational sector is responsible for the poor performance of students in public exams because the rules and regulations of the educational system are being bye- passed resulting to the admission of unqualified students at colleges.
The Minister also cited the high rate of indiscipline among students and teachers resulting to teachers in support of cultic activities as some of them attend initiation and festivities alleging that some cultic members are given free passing marks.
He also outlined some of the failures in the Inspectorate Division adding that it is operational but not functioning and that school inspectors have not been doing their work for quite a long time and expressed the need to review it. The minister expressed the need to have principals and headmasters employed on contract basis.
The Minister also spoke about plans to establish a National Service Commission so as to create modalities for students benefiting from the Government to return back to the Government with community service before certificates are issued.
The Chairman of the Gbamanja Commission of Enquiry promised to take firm action and that some of the issues highlighted will be detailed in the recommendations to be submitted to the President