By Forum Newspaper SL
As parents in Bombali district and other parts f the country continue to pay fees for their children in government and government assisted schools, the All Peoples Congress APC Deputy Minority Leader in the House of Parliament, Hon. Alhaji Ibrahim Ben Kargbo has in an exclusive questioned the authenticity of the free education policy.
He described the situation as a serious concern that government needs to address urgently before it tampers with the whole credibility of the free education policy.
Hon. Kargbo disclosed that school authorities are in the habits of extorting moneys from parents as registration fees, despite several warnings against the extortion of moneys from parents.
“Pupils in my constituency in Bombali district are still paying moneys to school administrators as registration fees. I don’t know if that is part of free government’s education policy. My staff and even people in my communities pay fees for their children,” he explained.
The opposition MP said; “if we begin to receive complaints from parents from all over the place about school authorities extorting moneys from them for registration fees, then there are huge problems associated with the implementation of the very good policy.”
The implementation of the free education policy Hon. Karabo furthered is poor because according to firebrand deputy opposition leader, he has personally spent millions of Leones on just the repairs of the Mapakie Secondary School, where he has been paying fees for kids.
“Let’s government tell the people what is the real meaning of the free education, because the new educational system is in itself not free. So let government tell us the people the fact as to whether we should be paying fees for our children in government and government-assisted schools or not, said Hon. Alhaji I. B. Kargbo.
He underscored the high level of media visibilities and publicities that the free education policy is earning, which has gone viral, though with very minimal impacts being felt back on the ground- in schools.
Hon. Alhaji Kargbo said Sierra Leone MPs had raised it at the European Parliament that the government of Sierra Leone is promoting a free education system for which; “we were applauded. So if we start to see whole lots of problems of school administrators still requesting for registration fees then it’s a matter of serious concerned to us”.
He therefore reminded government and president Bio of presidential campaign pledges to provide the children of Sierra Leone with a free quality education system with school feeding which are not being implemented as promised by president Bio and the SLPP.
Hon. Kargbo said; “we are not being told the truth about the so called free education, nor involve as key stakeholders in the implementation process of the policy, we are all Sierra Leoneans and government programmes can not be just a one man show as seen in the implementation which is why the free education policy not working as expected.