Government is yet to meet its financial obligations to schools countrywide for the past three terms.
This was confirmed by scores of Heads of both Primary and Secondary Schools who lamented that the last time government met it obligations was during the first term of the 2007-2008 academic year.
Speaking under the condition of anonymity, one of the affected principals disclosed that government’s inability to meet some of its obligations has caused a lot of constrains as subsidies from government are used to pay salaries to auxiliary staff.
He said that government’s inability to subsidize schools is one of the major reasons why extra charges are levied on parents to meet the running costs in their schools.
He however called on government to ensure that these school subsidies are paid on time, as it has got a telling effect on the administration of schools, citing repairs of broken desks and chairs.
Also in for condemnation is the Sierra Leone Teachers Union, whom the Principal alleged, is not seeking the welfare of Teachers especially when these issues crop up, as all they care for is their dues at the end of the month. However, a senior Educationist intimated that the short fall is due to the recent verification exercise which has raised eyebrows as it was alleged that a lot of ‘ghost schools’ were unearthed.
This assessment has led to sharp criticism from the Principal, who decried the statement indicating that “if the Minister discovered ghost schools on the payroll he should temporary struck off that school from the list, and fulfill government’s obligation to those that have gone through the exercise unblemished.” Most parents have expressed dismay over the non-fulfillment of government commitments towards their children, as they emphasized that, “if they are unable to meet their promises, let them tell us, as their failure has cost us a lot.”
Similar circumstances prevailed during the reign of the last government as the Education Ministry would overlap payment of school subsidies .