By Aruna Rashed Toma Bangura

Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have remarked that government should put more pressure on the nine key priority areas in the drafted document for the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper – Four (PRSP-IV), which include education, health, agriculture, infrastructure, energy amongst others.

They made the remarks at the ongoing National Development Plan for the 2019 budget held at the Ministry of Planning and Economic Development in Freetown.

The CSO activists also called on government to look deeply into the concerns of the teachers who they described as the backbone to President Julius Maada Bio’s free quality education flagship programme, adding that the government should also look into the capacity of teachers many of whom, they say, are functionally illiterate. They entreated government to implement a strong policy that would spread education in the four corners of the country, adding that the government should establish more private universities.

The CSOs also mentioned Gender Based Violence (GBV) as an alarming concern and called on government to hold consultative meetings with different stakeholders in addressing the issue of GBV.