Day of the African Child: Strengthening Education in Sierra Leone

@UNICEF 2014
Today is the Day of the African Child. By 2050, 1 out of 3 children in the world will be African, but right now Africa’s children face enormous challenges getting quality education. The world’s future depends on strengthening education in Africa today.

In Sierra Leone, a new Education Sector Plan (2014-2018) has been developed to address existing challenges: Poor children, especially girls are not always enrolled in school or cannot attend school due to a number of reasons. Many parents do not have the money to pay the transportation fare and they can’t afford to purchase uniforms and books. The quality of education is also a serious problem; 40% of the teaching force is untrained and unqualified.

UNICEF is supporting the dialogue between donors, education sector partners and the Ministry of Education and the new Education Sector Plan. The new Education Sector Plan describes how the Ministry of Education will advance the progress in the areas of access, equity, completion, quality and system strengthening. Goals and strategies of the Education Sector Plan are aligned with the Sierra Leone’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, the Agenda for prosperity.

Education is central to economic and human development. Its benefits for society include lower child mortality, and better nutrition. UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake is convinced that “ending the cycle of poverty for children, their families and communities starts with education.” UNICEF’s Education programme in Sierra Leone contributes to the achievement of Millennium Development Goals 2 (Universal Education) and 3 (Gender Equality). It supports the Government to ensure that both boys and girls have access to quality education. Education is a human right!

The world’s future depends on strengthening education in Africa today. Learn more:

*** by Rosmarie E. K. Jah, Reports Officer, External Relations and Advocacy, UNICEF Sierra Leone
Twitter: @UNICEFSL