After all, if every economic issue is framed as a struggle between a hard-working white middle class and undeserving minorities, then workers of all shades will be left fighting for scraps while the wealthy withdraw further into their private enclaves - Barack Obama

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Reply with quote  #1 

As our elections draw closer, my thoughts have turned to the issues, rather than the personalities. Today I’m thinking about education.


Whoever wins in 2018, needs to commit themselves to developing a reformed education system in Sierra Leone that will:

  • Be an education system fit for the 21st century with equitable access and high standards that produces citizens who are ready to contribute to a diversified economy
  • Have standards of education provision which meet the Sustainable Development Goals
  • Be well-funded, potentially backed by a new National Education Trust Fund, to raise domestic revenue for ICT, laboratories, libraries, school furniture, office equipment and infrastructure
  • Have highly trained, motivated teachers and lecturers ready to inspire the youth
  • Have a modern curriculum, written for the modern day labour market
  • Include an Adult education system that ensures no one is left behind, especially the youth who had missing years of education during the war
  • And have access to text books and readers written by Sierra Leoneans for Sierra Leoneans


What would you include in your list of must have’s?

Reply with quote  #2 
It is my desire to see educational policy to be geared towards STEM education. Every curriculum must favour STEM and related events should be organised at national level once or twice a year. Every school must hold a science and technology fair at least once a year just as prize-giving or thanksgiving is held. National STEM events like contests or processions should be organised by the ministry of education science and technology. Prizes should be awarded for innovation or creativity and any significant contribution towards scientific or technological advancement. Investment on scientific and technological research must be given priority; academics must be encouraged to make publications on science and technology in the form of papers, journals or textbooks. The national TV and radio must dedicate time for the airing of programs to raise scientific and technological awareness in the most illiterate indigene residing in the most remote village and of the least age. There should be more post-secondary school technical institutions for the skilled tradesman, technician and engineer levels. Our focus should be on producing many skilled tradesmen or operators, more technicians or supervisors and few engineers or technologists or managers.   
Reply with quote  #3 
Great topic, DMK. Please allow me to stretch it further: whoever becomes the next GOSL must commit to a SAFE agenda: Security, Agriculture, Freedom (Democracy), and Education (not in any order of importance). It is my humble opinion that if these four horses are effectively harnessed, Sierra Leone will coast into peace and prosperity. I am hoping that your posting will jump start proposals of effective policies for these sectors for discussion.
Reply with quote  #4 
While I applaud the topic at hand, which is so deserving of attention, we have to look at the entire infrastructure of all institutions that make a nation not only democratic, but is fair, just and equitable for all of its citizens. Such efforts must be aimed at being sustainable. As other contributors have mentioned, some of these areas need reform immediately. For example, law and justice need to be a priority because it is critical to the wellbeing of any state, and for good reasons, because in the absence of laws and justice, a state cannot survive, regardless of the resources poured onto any of these respectable projects. The next area of development is agriculture. A nation that cannot feed its citizens, will not be able to benefit from its major assets/resource, its citizens, because a well educated citizens is key to sustainable economic development. Sierra Leone needs an overhaul of all of its democratic institutions, and commit to better governance. Good topic DMK. 
Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #5 
Kothor Yusif#08, great points.

Haven’t read from you in a long while my friend.

By the way, where does energy generation, transmission, and utilization fit into all of this?
Reply with quote  #6 
Wow, some great contributions. Thank you.

@OrKaimonkey, I love your STEM emphasis being from that area myself. I do believe we need a college or institute of science and technology. I will take some of your ideas to our STEM group that we are forming.

@KNICE, you have always been one of the thought leaders here so no surprises to see you expanding on the topic further. I have not come across the acronym SAFE before. So clever. If we include health security under the security tab to go along with physical security then as you say, if we harness all these we would be going places.

@Yusif#08, you take the topic even one stage higher.  I wish we had seen the issues you list debated by our competing flag bearers but I guess that is not how elections are won and lost in Sierra Leone. You mention law and order. Unless the rule of law is supreme and the executive can be effectively held to account under the law, nothing else would really work properly.

Nevertheless, we are free to discuss and come up with policy ideas . There have been some great contributions on economics in other threads by the likes of @LordaMercy and others. I am happy to contribute some thoughts on healthcare. WOuld love to get the take on agriculture from someone who has deep domain knowledge of this area. Why for instance can we not grow enough rice to feed ourselves even today? Part of this must be political.

@Specky, good call on energy. To really develop we are going to have to attract foreign direct investment. That is not going to happen unless we have dependable electricity. I don't know if the stories about an electricity supply ship are true or not but to me they are a clear sign of failure. ALl these years post independence for us to be hiring an offshore temporary supply is shameful.

Reply with quote  #7 
Good to hear from you, Specky. And thanks you DMK. Brother Specky, your query regarding Electricity and its sustainability is an excellent one, I wish I have a magic wand or can point you to the answers. Unfortunately, many have tried to address this issue in the past, yet, it continues to be a prevailing problem to which hundreds of millions have been wasted. Even the learned KKY has not been able to make recommendations to the problem, especially based on his knowledge on the field.

What I will however recommend is that: the next leader of SL need to be a great communicator and a better listener. But overall, s/he needs to be honest with himself and to his subjects. Making promises that s/he cannot keep will not bode well for her/him to our people. For example, s/he should be forthright with his plans based on contingencies.  
Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #8 
“Even the learned KKY has not been able to make recommendations to the problem, especially based on his knowledge on the field.” - Yusif#08

Well his campaign team members frequently post here and at times respond to questions. Perhaps they have a position paper we are not aware of.

@KKY team: Please post your candidate’s position on energy.

Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #9 
Yusi#08, energy issues you raised will be addressed in their soon to be released manifesto according to an authoritative source.

Does anyone know if there will be any presidential debates where these sort of matters can be addressed?
Reply with quote  #10 
Ha, ha, ha, Specky. People in the KKY movement talk a lot. Their manifesto sounds like that of DT. They have none or else it would have been published by now. I envisioned a State House in disarray once they win elections come March, because they were ready to govern. A true leader is one that is well prepared to answer questions at this stage of the campaign, and share their vision and plans with their followers. People need to be informed of what the leader wants to accomplish. 
Reply with quote  #11 
Should read: but were "not" ready to govern.
Spectator 007
Reply with quote  #12 
@Yusif#08, well if they don’t release one very soon, you may have a point. Meanwhile, let’s give them the benefit of the doubt.

By the way, where can I access manifestos of the other parties (APC, SLPP, and ADP)?
Reply with quote  #13 
Specky when KKY was still part of SLPP he initiated a manifesto process led by Dr Blango in which who got contributions from worldwide KKY movement members, my humble self included. The only topic on which they did not need submissions was Energy as this was KKY's area. I didn't see the finished document and I don't know if that made it wholesale over to NGC but would be good if they published it.

As for SLPP they did publish a 'New Direction' document, which was a high level description of their (our) plans but I haven't seen a detailed policy breakdown flowing from that. Maybe they plan to develop that in office.

I have no access to APC and ADP groups or distribution lists so can't say what they are doing.
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