As part of their Early Childhood Development Centre School Project, which also falls under their institution’s Free Quality Education support to the Government FQE Initiative, Orange Foundation Sierra Leone on Monday 15th March 2021 commissioned an Ultra-Modern Pre-School Centre at Mayakie village, Mambolo Chiefdom, Kambia District in Northern Sierra Leone.
In his welcome statement, Paramount Chief of Mambolo Chiefdom, PC Bai Shebora Lion The II, applauded Orange Foundation Sierra Leone for considering his chiefdom among the very few for the construction of these Early Childhood Development Centre School, and assured all that they will make good use of the facility.
He also used the opportunity to commend President Julius Maada Bio for the implementation of the Free Quality Education, which he said is a move in the right direction, but said however that there are certain people within his district that are sabotaging the Free Quality Initiative by demanding money from the pupils and by extension the parents, thereby adversely affecting the implementation of the Free Quality Education in the chiefdom.
He also revealed that teachers in the provinces are faced with a lot of constrains and that some of them are community teachers that are trained and qualified, but whose names are not in the Government teachers’ pay list. In this regard, the traditional leader appealed to the Minister of Basic and Secondary School Education, David Sengeh, to work a system which will include a special provision for teachers in the provinces.
In her statement, Chief Executive Officer of Orange-SL, Aminata Kane, said that the commissioning of the Early Childhood Development Centre School in Kambia District is part of the company’s commitment towards the Government’s Free Quality Education, adding that the company was the first telecommunications company in the country to contribute to the Government’s Free Quality Education (FQE) Agenda by pledging the sum of $1.5m in material assistance over a period of five years.
She noted that prior to the event, the Foundation had also launched the Maternal Health Project in the country, which is geared towards safeguarding the health of pregnant women, lactating mothers and under-five Children, primarily as a pilot phase targeting the Kroo Bay community in Freetown. She commended the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education for making Early Childhood Development a priority, furthering that it is very key in building the capacity of these children.
On behalf of Orange Foundation she noted that they are honoured to hand over this pre-school to the people of Mayakie in order to give their children the opportunity to learn and grow, which in return will enable them to give back to society. She urged them to make good use of this facility and take ownership of the facility.
On his part, Minister of Basic and Secondary School Education, David Sengeh, commended Orange Foundation for the construction of the Pre-School at Mayakie, Kambia District, which he described as very important for the development of children in the country.
He stated that after the outcome of the precious WASSCE, which was not good as expected, if pupils are to bring excellent results in their WASSCE they have to start from pre-school, adding that with the construction of this pre-school at Mayakie, it will surely create positive impact on the lives of children in that part of the country.
Dr. Sengeh said that the Free Quality Initiative is a priority in the New Direction Agenda, as His Excellency President Maada Bio considers education as very important and that is why he implemented the Free Quality Education.
He admonished residents to take advantage of the facility and that they should take responsibility of the facility and also allow their children to attend the pre-school, which will help their children.
He outlined the ministry’s support to the newly constructed pre-school, adding that the Ministry will provide 3 Early Childhood Development (ECD) kits for the facility, curriculum and text books, locally made toys and training for the teachers in order to have the skills.
Fatmata Sesay, a parent and resident of Mayakie, expressed her warmest appreciation to Orange Foundation for the construction of the pre-school in their village, furthering that with this pre-school it will help their children to get early childhood education. She assured all that they will surely make good use of the facility, as it is the first modern pre-school at Mayakie in Kambia District.