As It Donates Le 260M & 52,000 Radios… World Vision Boosts Radio Teaching Programme

By Aruna Rashed Toma Bangura

One of the country’s major development partners mainly in the area of education, World Vision International on Tuesday, 23rd June, 2020, made a declaration to the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education to boost the Radio Teaching Programme by supporting the Teaching Service Commission with the sum of Le 260,000,000 (Two hundred and sixty million Leones) and 52,000 solar rechargeable radio valued at over Le 8,000,000,000 (Eight billion Leones) at the Ministry’s Conference Room, New England Ville, West of the Capital.

Giving the keynote address, the Country Director of World Vision SL, James Clufwelu told education stakeholders that World Vision has been operating in the country for over 23 years, adding that as a child organisation committed to education, health,  among other interventions, they have been very robust in promoting education in the country.

James Clifwulu furthered that the free quality education is a priority and that it is within the organization’s bloodstream, adding that despite the COVID-19 pandemic they have been engaging government on other ways the organisation can help pupils gain distance learning.

“We are committing to pay scriptwriters by giving Le 260,000,000 to the Teaching Service Commission,” he said, adding that as the organisation complimenting government’s effort’s by donating 52,000 solar radios.

The Operations Director of World Vision told participants and stakeholders that currently, they are operating in 5 districts with over 1,000 schools as operational centres, adding that Freetown is just their coordinating office but that operations take place in the provincial areas.

She further disclosed that they have rehabilitated 60 schools, worked closely with MBSSE to train 662 teachers, established some 180 reading camps and provided learning and teaching materials to schools in remote rural areas.

The Operations Director further noted that they have received 2,100 tables to help children through MBSSE education innovation challenge and has through the Youth Empowerment Project trained 180 girls to be entrepreneurs.

Commending World Vision SL, the Chairperson of the Teaching Service Commission, Dr. Staneala M. Beckley said they are lucky as, according to him, the support came the right time as scriptwriters were soliciting fiscal support, adding that they have engaged both government and education partners for the distance learning to be effective.

She said their first experience with the distance learning programme was during the Ebola outbreak, adding that most of the radio teachers still continue to be with the Commission.

“It is not easy and it is very challenging but it is surmountable,” she said, describing the partnership as an achieved one.

Dr. Beckley further disclosed that since the 6th of April, 2020 there has been no emolument for radio teachers. He concluded by admonishing parents to ensure their children listen to the everyday radio teaching programme.