Nancy Keteku, Regional Educationalist Advising Coordinator for Africa of the United States of America, yesterday commended the educational system of Sierra Leone.
Speaking during a roundtable interview at the American embassy, the educationalist said the West Africa Examination Certificate system was very important because “if some of these small countries decide to go alone with their own educational systems, it will be hard for them to have worldwide credibility. …”
Speaking about the criteria by which they do measure the standards of the educational system, Mrs Keteku revealed that this was done on the performance of students as for them it was the ability of students who went through the West African Senior Secondary School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE) system to get admission to schools in the United States and to win scholarships from them.
She added that, “we have senior secondary school graduates from all the five WAEC countries that are doing very well in universities in the States. Getting admitted into the top schools in the States and so we know that the WAEC exams are valued and are producing good students”.
Mrs Keteku went on, “as a matter of fact our International Education Conference that would be held in Washington at the end of this month… we are doing a session on Anglophone West African educational systems so we would be presenting to our audience on the educational systems of Liberia, Sierra Leone, Ghana and The Gambia. So we are looking for that occasion where we will be putting Sierra Leonean students on the map and making people understand the educational system so that they can see how Sierra Leonean students can fit into the US system.”
Speaking about their programme she disclosed that they had a packed programme before for Africa and that they had worked in 49 countries in sub Sahara African out of which they had educational advisory programmes supported by the US government in 38 countries.
“Wherever you see our logo you should know that we do have quality educational, professional advisory information that is currently comprehensive, accurate and unbiased about all accredited institutions in the US,” she revealed. This US citizen, who has lived in Ghana for 31 years, said they were representing all institutions and acting on the best interest of the students.
She said, “it may be interesting for you to know that there are five hundred and eight five thousand international students in the USA and we have 17 million students enrolled in higher institutions in the US. Thirty two thousand four hundred are from sub Saharan African and this is a figure that has more than doubled in the past 10 years, and three hundred are from Sierra Leone and the number from Sierra Leone has remained fully steady in the last 10 years and this number has been steady over the last ten years some how between 300 and 350. Considering how difficult times have been during the last ten years I think that is a credit to the educational system to the Sierra Leonean people”. She disclosed that, “we want to support the educational system of the country so that they produce good students. We want students to take the initiative they need to take the first step because it is their initiative and that is what matters.”
By Betty J Milton