A multi-annual European Union (EU) programme, launched in December 2016, is supporting the education sector in Sierra Leone with a budget of €29 million.
Sierra Leone’s development is constrained by the quality of education. Extremely low education indicators, coupled with low levels of management and absorptive capacity have made this sector one of the key challenges for the future.
The EU’s support to the sector aims to improve access to high quality learning in Sierra Leone, in line with the Government’s education strategy and in partnership with the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE), the Ministry of Technical and Higher Education, the Teacher Service Commission (TSC), decentralised authorities and Teacher Training Colleges in selected Districts.
- strengthening education management systems. This will improve institutional capacity to implement reforms and manage education in an efficient and effective way at various levels.
- improving primary school teaching and learning through regular in-service teacher training and an expanded distance teacher training programme.
- improving the management and delivery of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Sierra Leone. This will involve the mapping of TVET institutions and provide a structure for better coordination within the sector.
- boosting access to quality secondary education, particularly through the rehabilitation and upgrading of targeted junior secondary schools in rural areas. This will include wash facilities, extra classrooms, science labs, new furniture and learning materials.
A better educated society is more likely to prosper in all areas and bring about a rise in the Human Development Index and other international and domestic indices. Strengthening the national education management system will improve governance and management of the sector at school, local and central levels. It will provide a platform for better recruiting, HR and data collection processes; improve the quality and allocation of teachers, build MBSSE’s capacity to collect and use data, and embed a culture of evidence based planning in the sector. Support for teacher training recognises the vital role of teachers in driving improvements in learning outcomes. Better alignment between education and labour market needs will increase the employability of school leavers and young people and reduce the skills gap. Rehabilitating and upgrading targeted junior secondary schools will contribute to the supply and distribution of schools to meet the growing education demand in rural Sierra Leone. It will also reduce the urban rural education divide, as well as urban drift.