Ernest Koroma Attends High Level Meetings in Zambia & Tanzania

Former President of Sierra Leone, Dr Ernest Bai Koroma on Wednesday 13 July 2022, departed Freetown for Lusaka, Zambia. He will be attending the Advisory Board meeting of the Brenthurst Foundation scheduled for 14th to 16th July 2022. 

The Brenthurst Foundation is a think tank with “a focus to attract the investment needed for continental regeneration and prosperity.” Therefore, President Koroma will join other leaders, diplomats, policy experts who make up the Advisory Board from across the continent, to continue deliberations on development and investment in Africa. 

While in Zambia, the Foundation will pay a courtesy call on host President Hakainde Hichilema.

From Zambia, the former Sierra Leonean leader will proceed to Arusha, Tanzania. There, he will deliver the keynote address at the Africa Drive for Democracy Conference slated for the 20th to 22nd July 2022. Under the aegis of the Strategic Litigation, MS Training Center for Development Cooperation and the Institute Security Studies, the conference brings together participants from over thirty countries to renew commitments on the promotion of democracy viz a vizthe guaranteeing of a safe space for democracy activists, as well as to share experiences on the trends on the rapid decline of democracy in Africa. 

President Ernest Bai Koroma will be sharing his rich experience in building peace and democracy in Sierra Leone, as well as the ECOWAS sub region. As the organizers put it: “we would like your Excellency to reflect on your experience in Sierra Leone and what lessons could be replicated in the continent.  Based on these reflections, for your Excellency to discuss the role of civil society on the continent (notwithstanding all its limitations) in the democratization process…”               

The former President will return to Sierra Leone on July 24 2022.

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As Parliament Swears in New MPs

APC Regains Majority with 59 Seats 

Clerk of Parliament, Hon. Paran Tarawallie on Wednesday sworn in Jawah Sesay of the All People’s Congress as Member of Parliament of the Republic of Sierra Leone.

The ceremony took place during parliamentary sitting where MPs of the main opposition APC celebrated, chanting their party song.

Jawah was elected MP on 25th June during a parliamentary bye-election in Constituency 056, Tonkolili District, NorthernSierra Leone. 

Jawah polled 5,487 votes. Being the highest number of valid votes cast, was duly elected Member of Parliament for Constituency 056 in the Tonkolili District.

According to the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone, seventy (70) polling station results were entered into the result database, representing 100% of all polling stations in the Constituency.

It says the voter turnout was 10,417 out of a voter register of 20,581; giving a percentage turnout of 50.6%. The total number of valid votes cast was 9,675. There were 742 invalid votes, representing 7.1% of total votes cast.

Welcoming the New MP to the House, Leader of the Opposition, Hon. Chernor Bah thanked the Electoral Commission for Sierra Leone (ECSL) for conducting a free and fair election. “I call on all citizens to support NEC. We should not put ECSL under any undue pressure. I want to congratulate the new MP”.

Leader of Government Business, Hon Matthew Nyuma:”I call on the new MP to always make use of the Standing Orders. I congratulate you. I am happy the opposition is commending ECSL.

Speaker, Hon. Dr. Abass Chernor Bundu also commended ECSL. “The ECSL is doing well. You MPs should all thank them. Continue to do what is right and proper in accordance with the laws of our land. Thank you for a job well done”, he said.

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WAEC Witholds 59 NPSE Results

Basic Education Minister, David M. Sengeh

Government of Sierra Leone on Monday released to the public the 2022 National Primary School Examination (NPSE) results. According to the Minister of Basic and Senior Secondary Education, Dr. David Moinina Sengeh, this is the earliest release date in the last decade. “This matters because it gives parents and families enough time to help their children and wards prepare for the new school year. When families and children prepare, they perform better”, he noted.

He said hard copies of result packages are being prepared now for distribution to all schools that entered candidates. “Simultaneously, soft copy versions will be soon made available on the Government Service Delivery platform developed by the Directorate of Science Technology and Innovation. The free SMS Result Checker mean that in addition to families not paying for school and exams fees; they shouldn’t have to pay to also know the result of their wards, thanks to His Excellency President Julius Maada Bio’s commitment to Free Quality School Education. 

“162,068 candidates entered the exam. That is 79,617 (49.1%) boys and 82,451 (50.9%) girls. 421 of these students are Sierra Leoneans in Guinea. For a third year running, this is the highest number of students ever registered for this exam. Candidates sitting the exam numbered 161,797 – that is 79,477 (49.1%) boys and 82,320 (50.9%) girls.

“We have so far received results for 4,635 primary schools, 23 of which were in Guinea. 59 results are currently being with-held due to some form of irregularity that have been detected and reported by West African Examination Council (WAEC). These irregularities range from impersonation to carrying foreign material into an examination room to collusion to entering the exam under false pretences. WAEC expects that the committee which takes final decision on this matter will meet in September. Our government will continue to crack down heavily on examination malpractice until we can fully sanitize our system.

“I should use this moment to state that it is not right that students from classes 4 and 5 continue to attempt these exams. Quality education is much broader than one’s performance in an examination and that is why we have developed new curriculum to strengthen the foundational skills of our students during pre-school and 6 years of primary education. 

“This year, from the 162,068, 131,433 candidates, comprising 65,152 boys and 66,281 girls, passed the NPSE in 2022. These are candidates whose aggregate scores were on or above the cut-off score of 230 stipulated by the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education. 

“The total number of passes corresponds to an overall pass rate of 81.2%. This is a 4.2% improvement from the overall pass rate in 2021 which was 77.0%. 

“Regionally, the best performances were North, followed by South and Eastern Region and the top five best performing Districts are Falaba, Bonthe, Koinadugu, Kenema and Bombali respectively. The top 2 districts had over 90% pass rates.

“It is also worth noting that 10 districts, that is: Bonthe, Koinadugu, Kambia, Bo, Kono, Moyamba, Tonkolili, Western Rural, Port Loko and Karene had higher pass rates this year than last year. These districts are moving in the right direction and are worth commending. 

“At the school level, 1,071 out of 4,635 schools (23%) had 100% pass rates; that is, all their candidates who attempted the examinations passed. This is an increase from the 20% of schools that had 100% pass rates in 2021. Apart from the Western Area, all other regions and Guinea had more schools getting pass rates of 100% this year than last year. 

“Disappointingly, 114 schools across the country had zero percent pass rates. The Teaching Service Commission is already working with such under-performing schools and additional support is planned but as it usually happens, heads of schools with zero percent pass rates, accompanied by their proprietors, School Management Committee Chairpersons and District Deputy Directors of Education will be invited to explain the cause of the poor performance and to help map out actions to improve learning and performance in the affected schools. As a government, we have also started the implementation of Performance Based Financing across primary schools and will roll out an USD 18 million Education Outcomes Fund in September to continue improving quality of learning and teaching. 

The top performing schools nationwide based on the average aggregate scores of all their candidates are: 

1. Tutorial Centre for Academic Excellence Primary, Talent Town, Makeni

2. Hillside School of Excellence, Freetown 

3. Edna Primary, Circular Road, Freetown 

4. Mereweather Preparatory School, Freetown, and 

5. Rising Academy Primary. Calaba Town 

Now for the best three individual performances nationwide

Tied for 2nd place with an aggregate T-score of 334 are 

● Nesralla, Tyra, School Leone Preparatory Primary School and 

● Sesay, Angella J. M., from The International School Ltd. 

And with a score of 337, our best candidate from The International School Ltd. is 

● Pabs-Garnon, Lorraine M. 

The Minister continued: “The 2022 NPSE was the first national school examination conducted during the post-CoVID recovery period. Public concern about the integrity of national school examinations meant that the stricter measures adopted since 2020 continued. This initial analysis of performance suggests that the impact of exams irregularity on results was negligible. 

“Performance in the 2022 NPSE suggests that candidates are being better prepared by our schools. I would like to thank the excellent work of our committed teachers. We are grateful that just last month, together with the Sierra Leone Teachers Union, we negotiated a new Collective Bargaining Agreement with much improved conditions of service for teachers. 

“As a country, we must continue with our progress. The performances of districts from economically poor and rural regions are encouraging. More girls attempted and passed the exam and the national pass rate of 81.2% is the highest ever. Congratulations to the people of Sierra Leone. 

“The national office of WAEC deserves a big congratulation for getting scripts processed, marked and released to the MBSSE the earliest in over a decade. WAEC continues to be a good partner to us. Thanks also go to the examiners who worked really hard to complete the marking of scripts in a timely manner. 

“I cannot end without congratulating the students and families who worked tremendously hard during the 2021/2022 academic year ignoring all the distraction that were taking place around the world. It is our hope that the improvements that we have noted over the last few years will continue and that performance in 2023 will be even better than this year’s. Let’s keep transforming education”.

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