By Ragan M. Conteh
The opposition Member of Parliament, representing Constituency 059 in Kambia District, Hon. Abdul Karim Kamara, has promised to raise an individual Member Motion in Parliament, which will force Government officials to send their children to government schools across the country.
According Hon. AKK, the dismal state of government schools across the country is as a result of the neglect and abandonment, adding that the government of Sierra Leone, year in year out, has poured a lot of resources to education and that such resources always go to the pockets of corrupt people, because most of those who bear the responsibility to develop government schools send their children to private schools.
The Hon. MP stated that 90% of Government officials do not send their children to government schools due to the terrible conditions of government schools, especially the poor sanitation aspect of public schools.
“If you say the country’s free education is quality then let us now force all, by law, to send their children to public schools. What I have also observed is about the rich in private schools and the poor in government schools. Why?” he asked.
Honorable AKK pointed out that what the public schools lack is the monitoring mechanism, asserting that the private schools are primarily manned by only the proprietor, which, sometimes, show effectiveness in the system.
Hon. AKK furthered that the aim of his individual member motion is to reduce social classification, adding that such a motion will ensure public servants help government to develop public schools, thereby preventing the huge chuck of monies just in education, which may not necessarily reflect on poor pupils.
“21% of the country’s budget allocation to education is huge and such monies must not be used in private schools. What I noticed is that most of the public servants are paid by government. These servants must use such monies to pay for their children in public schools, rather than paying them in private schools. Some even pay millions to private schools, which will obviously leave public schools in poor conditions,” he said.
What is interesting, Hon. AKK mentioned, is that, since Sierra Leone became independent, all the past and present presidents are graduates from public schools. He informed that most of the quiz competitions undertaken in the country favour public schools. “So why the much interest about private schools leaving public schools in shambles,” he asked.
He intimated that the policy on public servants will also encourage them to take good care of the environment in public schools, adding that the monies spent on private schools per term will provide quality chairs and desks for public schools and teachers’ effectiveness will improve on that basis.
Hon. Abdul Karim Kamara continued that, with the policy, better assurance and secured health conditions in public schools will be seen. He appealed to the media to help propagate his idea and policy, which he will present in Parliament for quality education in public schools.