His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has urged pupils and students to pay more attention to their schoolwork and make good use of the free quality education offered by his New Direction Government.
Speaking at the Bintumani Conference Centre, Aberdeen, on the celebration of the 30th Anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child, UNCRC, the President said that his government had chosen human capital development as a priority because the citizens were the most important asset to the country, adding that investing in education was the best way of making people meaningful in society.
“I chose free quality education so that we can empower the children of this country to be useful to their communities, societies and the world at large. We are investing in our children because we want the best for you and we want to give you the required skills to be competitive. We are here to nurture, protect and advocate for you and I encourage you all to concentrate on your work,” he said.
President Bio also reiterated his disappointment in examination malpractices and cheating in schools, saying that that was detrimental to the growth and wellbeing of the kids. He added that parents and teachers must at all times discourage students from cheating in schools because it would affect their progress.
“We do not only want you to be educated but to be competitive, especially in the international world. We cannot allow malpractices in schools because we care a lot about our kids, the future of our nation and the world. It is the responsibility of teachers, parents and the community to make sure our children perform well in schools,’’ he said.
Commissioner for the National Children Commission, NCC, MrsOlayinkaLaggah, said that the NCC was established to monitor and coordinate the implementation of the UNCRC and the African Charter and to advise the government on issues affecting the welfare of children.
She noted that since the ratification of the UNCRC, Sierra Leone had made tremendous efforts and progress in promoting the rights of children, especially in the development and promotion of legislation and policies. She said that the NCC had significantly improved partnership and coordination between and among relevant ministries, departments and agencies, non-governmental organisations and institutions dealing with children in Sierra Leone.