SABI encourages wider dialogue on free and quality education

Joseph Lamin - Programme Officer for the Free Quality School Education

As well as raising awareness of key government policies and procedures on education services in communities, SABI is also supporting state service providers to be more engaged and accountable to citizens.

The Ministry of Basic Senior Secondary Education (MBSSE) has previously interacted with people mainly at district level, providing information on the Free Quality School Education (FQSE) programme. But data from SABI’s citizen perception survey, by providing a national picture of people’s views on education, has prompted wider dialogue.

A SABI ward development committee learning event in Freetown uncovered urgent issues around education and highlighted a lack of understanding of the FQSE policy. Joseph Lamin, FQSE programme officer, who attended the meeting, took these concerns back to the ministry.

MBSSE is now placing greater emphasis on rights and accountability and has acknowledged that communities need more information on the packages of the FQSE programme, including eligibility criteria to benefit from it.

MBSSE put plans in place to model SABI’s inclusive approach to citizen engagement, and was arranging a national tour reach more people at ward level with information on FQSE.

In December 2018, SABI conducted a FQSE Survey, which informed MBSSE on the current state of education in the country. MBSSE continues to acknowledge the SABI survey as an additional boost to the education sector.

‘SABI has contributed to us achieving our objectives at MBSSE and created responsive platforms where we have clarified a lot of the misconceptions on the Free Quality School Education Programme,’ Mr Lamin said. ‘We will use this data as evidence to overcome some of the bottle necks in our interventions.

Programme Officer for the Free Quality School Education – Joseph Lamin