An un-specified number of school teachers in Bo and various Provincial Towns have in their ongoing activities leading to the closure of schools for the long vacation, levied extraordinary charges in sharp contrast to recent nationwide warning made by the Minister of Education, Science and Technology, Dr Mikailu Bah, urging school authorities to forthwith desist from fanciful exploits that can cause unnecessary hardship and expenditure on parents in the guise of education.
This defiant and calculated series of burden and exploitation comes barely one month following the Minister’s order making extra school charges a crime against strict adherence to values that would enhance effective management of higher standards in compliance with the Agenda for Change.
Speaking of their dilemma, parents and guardians said their plights have further been compounded with the demanding of money for handiworks in the form of items including dishes and physical cash together with cost ranging from two to five thousand Leones before result sheets are issued to hundreds and thousands of pupils.
Explaining further, disgruntled pupils together with parents complained they were refused examination result sheets as some cannot afford the cost involved, while a good number have had to go into debts only for them to secure their yearly school reports.
Most alarming was the cost for handiworks for which a good number of pupils were refused passing marks, as they could not afford the demands of their class teachers.
Speaking to Awoko in response to the unbecoming attitude of most schools, the school authorities dis-associated themselves from the defiant behavior of the teachers, saying “they have no official knowledge of these new rounds of exploitation taking over the entire educational sector in today’s Sierra Leone”.
District Education Directors spoken to also condemned the practice and further promised to mount an all-out investigation into the extra school charges which most say, “have one way or the other accounted for the ongoing decline in educational standards.”
Similar complaints have been registered by concerned people who out rightly said “teaching and learning processes in schools are not very effective due to many factors, particularly time spent on activities that has no bearing on education as a whole.”
By Easmon Moiguah