Over Le637Bn for 2022 Free Quality Education

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The Director of Planning in the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Adama J. Momoh has presented the summary of Fiscal Year 2022 budget of the ministry to the tune of Six Hundred and Thirty Seven Billion, One Hundred and Forty-Six Million Leones.

Free Quality Education (FEC) is the flagship programme of President Julius Maada Bio’s New Direction government benefiting nearly two million school pupils across the country.

Giving the breakdown in the bilateral budget discussions held at Ministry of Finance Conference Hall, Adama J. Momoh said, the summary of recurrent budget per directorates was Le578 for Public Investments Project (PIP) divided into Le346, 100,000.000 (domestic) and Le23,550,000,000 (foreign).

According to her, the domestic PIP encompassed searching and learning materials, school fees subsidies, school feeding programme, examination fees for WASSCE, diet for boarding home schools rehabilitation/refurbishment of schools, welfare and hygiene packages for school going girls, among others.

She spoke about the ongoing Sixty-Six Million United States dollars project support by development partners that is geared towards complementing government’s effort for the FQE in the Ministry.

She further highlighted key achievements of the Ministry for the FY2020/2021 including construction of 250 classrooms with additional WASH facilities, payment for 11,500 repeaters of WASSCE, payment of tuition fees subsidy, 30 early childhood education centres or schools constructed, rehabilitation and construction over 100 secondary schools among others.

The key deliverables for FY00 budget, she said include to develop and approve the new Education Act, develop a now West Africa Examination Council Act, phase out double schooling in some selected schools, construct three hostels for girls in three districts, operationalise the school fees utilisation and others.

She said a major challenge in the Ministry was the unpredictability of release of funds and the lack of release of funds in full as approved by Parliament.

Financial Secretary in the Ministry of Finance, Sahr Jusu, reiterated on the challenges in mobilising resources to fund ongoing programmes or projects rather than new ones especially those of human capital development.

He further advised that if they are expanding on the FQE, must be done cautiously. CSOs, non-state actors and DBOCS representatives all made meaningful contributions to the Ministry’s budget in the interest of improved educational system in Sierra Leone.